India skipper Mithali Raj heaped praise on young debutants, especially Sneh Rana, who along with Taniya Bhatia helped India Women secure a draw against England in the one-off Test in Bristol on Sunday.
Walking at No.8 on Test debut, Rana made an unbeaten 80 and scripted a great escape.
She along with Tania shared an unbeaten 104-run stand for the ninth wicket to secure a memorable draw for India.
“Sneha played very sensibly along with Tania and she had a good couple of domestic seasons and Shikha Pandey and that partnership was crucial for us to save the Test match. Mightly impressed with all the debutants,” Mithali said during a virtual interaction.
Crucial half-centuries from Dipti Sharma and Rana along with a cracking 83-ball 63 from Shafali Verma at the top helped the team salvage a draw.
However, the middle-order failed to click. But, the India skipper chose to take the positives.
There are other players who can stand up and deliver for the team when required after the collapse. Lower middle-order in particular Sneh Rana, Shikha Pandey, Tania Bhatia played crucial roles. Even Deepti Sharma played a vital role along with Shafali,” Mithali said.
Heading into the one-off Test, India eves didn’t had much practice and Mithali credited her team to fight till the end.
“They have shown the confidence without any practice and that confidence we will carry forward. The mental space these girls are in will have a positive impact in the longer format,” she said.
“A lot of players have got the exposure in playing in different conditions so when it comes to playing in Test cricket tuning their mindset was important and they did that.. Given more opportunities, the team will get more stronger and whatever little preparation the girls managed, I think we did well,” she added.
On handing a debut to Rana, who was away from international cricket for a while, the India skipper said, ” We wanted to lengthen our batting order and Sneh was batting well along with her bowling. As I said, she had a very good domestic season with both bat and ball and that’s why we went with her.”