“Maybe in the coming years it might also lead to a World Test Championship [for women]. You never know.”
“I feel this Test match and even the pink-ball Test, which is in Australia in the coming months, it’s just the beginning of having a three-format bilateral series,” Raj, India’s Test and ODI captain, stated on the eve of the one-off Test in opposition to England in Bristol. “It probably opens up the channel to have another format added in a bilateral series and that will clearly help the overall standard of women’s cricket.
“Also, the gamers – I imply, you ask any modern-day cricketer, they nonetheless need to play the longer format as a result of they finally know that the format checks the talent of a participant.”
The last time India played two or more Tests in a year was in 2014, which was also the last time they appeared in the format. The Bristol Test, which marks their return to red-ball cricket after a break of 2401 days, carries four points for a win under the multi-format system for the tour, which also includes three ODIs and three T20Is.
A draw will fetch the teams two points apiece and one point will be awarded for a no-result. Wins in the white-ball games will be worth two points each. The Ashes, which has been the only occasion that has involved Test matches in women’s cricket since 2014, follows the same grading system.
“It’s good to have the Test match in a series,” Raj said. ‘We [already] had the one-dayers and the T20Is. Maybe in the coming years it might also lead to a World Test Championship [for women]. You never know. This is just the beginning. I hope we continue to have bilateral series where all three formats are there.”
The announcement of each the Test in opposition to England and the pink-ball recreation in opposition to Australia, scheduled for September-October, was an surprising growth in Indian women’s cricket. On the worldwide circuit, the ODI World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, to be performed in the T20 format, each scheduled for subsequent 12 months, and the 2023 T20 World Cup stay the focal factors of India’s long-term preparations. In home cricket, no red-ball tournaments for women’s cricketers have been held in India for the reason that 2017-2018 season.
“There were a few sessions that we tried to have in the whites so that the girls don’t get [intimidated] when they walk into the ground tomorrow because for most of them it’s their first time getting into the ground in the whites,” Raj stated. “That is one thing [Powar] tried to get into the sessions. There were four-five sessions where we trained together as a team in the whites, so we get a feel of it in the nets sessions and it doesn’t feel alien for the girls when they get onto the ground.
“He additionally bought the seniors to talk to the opposite gamers who’re much less skilled concerning the format concerning the final time we performed a Test match, so there was loads of communication with Jhulan speaking to the quick bowlers and I’m speaking to the batters. So, I believe when you have got this communication going, it kind of will get the staff get collectively ready for the Test match.”
“In phrases of selling the game, I believe it’s nice to have a Test match reside on tv as a result of clearly, lots of people will observe, now with the pandemic [on] and there is partial restrictions in every single place [because of lockdowns], so lots of people will probably be watching the sport,” she said. “As far because the gamers are involved, it’s equally necessary [to play well in this Test match]. Seven years again, the state of affairs was very completely different for women’s cricket.
“Having said that, that team never really thought whether the match is [covered] live or not; it never really crosses a players mind as long as we get in there and we put forward our best performance. Whether it is covered live or not, that’s [not] the players’ lookout. We are there to get there and give our best standard, and if it’s covered live, nothing like it because that’s how the sport will grow being viable.”
Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha