“It has shown real skill, it has been exciting, there has been some aggressive cricket,” says Heather Knight, who hopes the exciting showdown with India can lead to the charge for the five-day women’s trials; Indian teenager Shafali Verma “a unique talent in a generation,” says Captain Mithali Raj
England captain Heather Knight believes the thrilling tie against India was a “good announcement” for women’s test cricket and hopes it can lead to five-day testing.
The Knights team cut India down to 199-7 and 240-8 on the fourth and final day in Bristol, before tourists battled for a draw thanks to an unbroken century-long run between Sheh Rana (80th) and Taniya Bhatia. (44no).
The game was England’s first test since the ashes of 2019 and India’s first since 2014.
Knight said: “I think it was brilliant. What an announcement it was. It was a shame that it probably ended in failure, but it was great.”
“It has shown real skill, it has been exciting, there has been some aggressive cricket.
“It’s a good announcement to play more and maybe even have a five-day Test Match. I would definitely be open to that. I think there have been a lot of draws in women’s test cricket, so it’s definitely something that I think should be looked at. .
“I think if there was another day, what an ending it would have been. They almost stole that ending from us because there wasn’t an extra day and we didn’t have time in the game.
“We talked a lot before the week about how we want to do things and we executed it brilliantly. Being positive and taking the game forward when we could, but also being firm and following the ebbs and flows of the game.”
England appeared to be heading for victory as India, which was still ahead, lost its eighth spot shortly before Saturday’s tea when they had a lead of just 75 races.
However, Rana and Bhatia frustrated England with their 104-run partnership for the ninth wicket, as the two sides each took two points in the first game of the multi-format series.
England captain Knight added: “I think we can take the positives out of this game enormously. We tried to force a result, the field was a bit dead and he did a tough job, and the girls were amazing.
“[Spinner] Sophie Ecclestone threw 60-something overs in the game. I love captaining her and she is a real weapon on the ball.
“I’m really happy for her, but gutted that she couldn’t get the first five for [after taking four-wicket hauls in both India innings].
“For the closers, running in and hitting the cover when I wasn’t giving them a huge amount was a huge effort. I’m really proud of them.”
England rookie Sophia Dunkley scored 74 in her only innings, while 17-year-old India starter Shafali Verma scored her first Test with innings of 96 and 63, becoming the fourth woman in testing history to reach. two scores out of 50 on his debut.
Knight said: “We have some really young talents. Sophia Dunkley acting like she did in her debut was outstanding and the future is definitely bright. Credit also to how India played. I thought Shafali was outstanding.”
India captain Mithali Raj was effusive in her praise of Verma and also hailed her team’s courage after saving a draw at Bristol.
Raj said: “I think Verma is a player that is crossed once in a generation. I am happy to have her on our side. There are many exciting years to come and we will see many good entries from her in the future.
“This drawing reflected the character of the young women. When they were pushed into a corner, they got up and played the situation accordingly.
“That shows a lot of character and I’m sure we’re going to build on it.”
Watch the first one-day international match between England Women and India Women, from Bristol, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Sunday June 27th.