The third day’s play couldn’t churn out much of itself as half of it went into showers with India managing to put up a score of 83 for the loss of Smriti Mandhana at the very beginning of the innings. The Indian fans have come up to thank the fifty-plus partnership between Shafali Verma and Deepti Sharma who have saved the day.

The fourth day is supposed to be a dramatic one as both the teams will be locking horns for a fresh time where England will try to get the Indian innings summed up and on the other hand, the Indian side would go on a tryst to stay back on the ground and pull up a fine lead on the hosts.

“Yeah, it’s really disappointing. And before lunch, I got out so it’s definitely disappointing. I would have loved to come back fresh tomorrow to bat again but I think that’s what day’s cricket is so we will get it better. I think Shafali and Deepti stitched in a good partnership so at the end we were in a good position,” Mandhana said as she felt disappointed about the day’s play and its abandonment due to incessant rain.

Talking of the air and fare of the day when the second ball was taken, Smriti added, “I think the conditions just changed slightly. It was windy but I think it was not swinging that much that it was not playable or something.”

“So, I would say that it was a good condition to bat on still even if the conditions were cloudy or overcast. Just you need to take a few minutes initially, of course, I lost my wicket but I wouldn’t say that it was a very good ball where I gave my wicket away because that wasn’t that great a ball. Overall, the conditions are still very good to bat on,” she shared as she weighed the conditions and her wicket.

And when it’s about India’s position in the game now, how could Shafali evade the discussion. “It’s quite impressive to watch her bat from the other end and also to bat along. I think we both are very similar to keep things simple so we don’t really discuss much batting in middle. But yes the way she changed her game and the kind of maturity she showed at this stage of her career, it’s very positive for Indian cricket going forward. I have always seen her in T20 from the other end and it’s always amazing to see what she does and the way she does it. I hope she keeps going the way she is,” Smriti Mandhana noted.

Probably the rarest of the usual, too many debutants have been seen in the Test match. Mandhana remarked, “I think all the debutants have got on to a good start and in general everyone was really excited to play this Test match, not only just the debutants. We all are playing after a very long time.”

She also shared on an honest note that she herself was very excited to have her bat in the Test. “It is really a special match,” she added, “We were on the same board, not that debutants are different because we too haven’t played for a long time. I think all the debutants have really stepped up and been great.”

She names Deepti, Shafali, Pooja and even Tanya with the catch where she thinks everyone has done a lot of contribution. In fielding too, Smriti managed to help them out by having words with them as she has previous performances in the conditions. 

To comment on the follow-on that India suffered and the discussion that the side was into, she pointed, “It was a quick transition as we just had like 15 minutes before we went in to bat so we didn’t meet together as a group,” and further went on saying, “Definitely the discussion was just to go out there and watch the ball because of course, the conditions are good to bat on. We didn’t bat that great in the first innings so will have to make up for this in the second innings. And that’s what all just thought it about.”

Although the Test is a maiden in the last seven years the fact of this inconsistency of the long-format games hasn’t put Smriti Mandhana on the couch and she is every ready to face any of the formats. “… We can consider for sure that we are not used to batting beyond fifty overs that much but I wouldn’t say that I got out because of lack of experience in test matches because I threw my wicket in the last session of yesterday.” She thinks that it’s quite obvious that more and more games like these long-formats will surely bring experience to the side to face the pressure of a test match.

Praising the England bowling side, Mandhana noted, “But I think the balls were not that great to get out.” She believes sticking to the basics would obviously get the game going positively. With her wicket, there might have been a void created at the very beginning of the follow-on chase but she thinks the game would just get better the following day.

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