The one-off Test between England and India has concluded well for both sides with a dramatic draw. And it was the final and the fourth day that starred the two Indian debutants who stole the show in an all-in-all condition of cementing the ninth wicket partnership and save India from bundling down to lose the match. Getting only the first innings of the match to bat, Lauren Winfield-Hill managed to put up a knock of 35 runs off 63 balls while building the opening partnership of England with her partner Tammy Beaumont.
While addressing a virtual press meet, she shared about the only Test at Bristol and the entire topsy-turvy of events that led to a draw. “It was a great game of Test cricket. Obviously, we were in a position to try and foster results and we were playing extremely hard and trying to do that. It’s a huge positive step forward in the way we played the Test cricket across those four days,” she said.
She seconded the better result that the English side has conferred in the recently concluded one-off Test in comparison to the previous games that the side has been through. She also hints at the solidifying position that the team was to declare in the first innings after mounting 396 runs on the scoreboard. “On a whole, would have liked to come up with a result,” Lauren Winfield-Hill added.
“India batted long way down and so we (too) batted a long way down. I think it was nice to potentially open but middle over players didn’t get away,” she noted and further said, “They also had some players and had some success against us. I can make sure we can come harder.” She believes it’s not only stipulated and limited to only one series, she knows she has to play and perform well along with the entire team on the scene. She cements this notion by stating, “… because India is a good side.”
Eyeing on the ODI series that kicks off from June 27, she commented “We had pretty good One Day cricket in New Zealand and in the last years we have played good T20 cricket including the World Cup. Last summer we played T20 cricket against West Indies.” With this, she pointed at the upcoming ODIs and the World Cup sticking to the horizon. She says, “We have really good players and I think this is the right time to grow the momentum and make sure that we are very much close in the game.”
“We were quite pleasantly surprised that how we pulled up,” Lauren Winfield-Hill said with awe on how they managed to bear two and a half days on the ground with the role assigned as the fielding side and added, “It’s quite not familiar in Women’s game. Probably I felt better the next day than what the bowlers felt owing to their long spells. We had a really solid training block.” She stressed on the physical fitness that is needed the most in any sort of sport. “COVID has naturally given us good blocks of training,” she spotted the emphasis of the time.
“In terms of our preparation. It’s not being something like real solid block of Test. Naturally, we all play all formats and we had very recently Heyhoe Trophy and then ODIs against New Zealand,” she noted and said that the focus has been playing in the longer format since the announcement of the series against India.
Although there has been no such discussion in the team and the higher management to settle upon the batting order and a likewise array of the opening batters on the English side, Lauren Winfield-Hill said, “I have scored big runs and it’s probably consistently producing big scores and a couple of hundreds.” She believes that in case of ODIs, a batter conferring centuries can put his or her team in a really good position.
Commenting on the bowling approach that the English side would be continuing keeping in mind the probable debut of Shafali Verma into the ODIs, she noted, “There are probably two players (Shafali Verma and Sneh Rana) on whom we would work on. Shafali is a great young player and she can be aggressive. With that, we saw her in the first innings of the Test match where she played nicely.”
Shifting to Rana, she added, “She performed really well. Obviously, in a longer format, you become more conservative.” And, she believes the way the side plays One Day cricket is quite up to the mark and has plans for the upcoming match too.
“It is quite subjective to the format, especially playing in a Test match,” Lauren Winfield-Hill said on the condition of India having no left-arm spinner and added, “the pitch obviously did offer some spin and we also knew that the off-spinner were coming into bowl.”
She also said that the scenario for One Day cricket is very much different as the temperament is of much aggressive and the side has in that case, more attacking options. She also pointed out that it all depends on the conditions and England, historically, doesn’t turn a lot.