Sneh Rana (3 for 77) and Deepti Sharma (2 for 50) took five wickets between them as England went from 230/ 2 to 269/6 at stumps on day one of the one-off Test against India at the Bristol County Ground on Friday.
England skipper Heather Knight (95) and Tammy Beaumont (66) struck fifties to put England in a dominant position before the two offspinners – both debutants – struck in quick succession to get Nat Sciver, Amy Jones, Knight and Georgia Elwiss.
Sneh Rana, who made her last India appearance back in February 2016, said she simply stuck to the basics on a wicket that showed signs of slowing down as the day progressed. “I just focussed on my strengths, and it worked out. The pitch was slow early on, and it helped us spinners because it was turning a bit right from the start,” Rana said after the day’s play.
The pitch – used previously for a T20 Blast fixture last Friday – offered movement and carry for the quicks early in the day. However, Rana feels the surface is “a good one to bat on and won’t change much”.
Rana, the Railways off-spin-bowling allrounder, attributed her selection to her consistent performances in domestic cricket. Rana topped the wicket charts in the Senior One Day Trophy 2020-21, with 18 scalps at an average of 12.66. “I had missed a year of cricket because of an injury. But I kept doing well in the domestic circuit, which eventually resulted in my comeback into the Indian team,” she said. Rana was one of the five new debutants along with Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia and Pooja Vastrakar.
Rana dedicated her performance to her father. “My father passed away two months back. It was an emotional moment for me to make my Test debut. Whatever I have done so far and will do from hereon, it will all be dedicated to my father.”