Indian veteran Mithali Raj ready for first pink-ball Test

India skipper Mithali Raj doesn't know what to expect against Australia in her first day-night Test.

India skipper Mithali Raj doesn't know what to expect against Australia in her first day-night Test. Photo: AP

India captain Mithali Raj’s 11 Tests make her a veteran of a format that rarely features on the international women’s cricket schedule.

But even for Raj, one of two players in the tourists’ XI who remarkably faced Australia in a 2006 Test at Adelaide Oval, there is a sense of the unknown about the pink-ball clash at Metricon Stadium that begins on Thursday.

“It’s a different experience for us. It’s our first time, at least for the Indian team, we’re playing a day-night Test,” Raj said, having made her international debut in 1999.

“I’m not experienced with the pink ball. Quite curious to see around that period, when they say it (batting) is going to be difficult.

“I can only say (what it is like) when I experience it.”

Australia skipper Meg Lanning missed the 2017 day-night Ashes Test through injury, but several teammates took part in that match.

Raj and 38-year-old fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, the hero of India’s epic ODI win on Sunday, both played in the Test against Australia that came almost 16 years ago.

Raj’s side played just two Tests between 2007 and 2020 but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has seemingly made the format a priority, agreeing to schedule Tests against both England and Australia this year.

Lanning, having faced England in all four of her Tests, is upbeat she will soon have a chance to don the baggy green on the subcontinent.

“Hopefully it’s the first of many (Australia-India Tests) to come. Hopefully it’s not a one-off and we can go and play a Test match in India during the next few years,” Lanning said.

“That will be a really cool thing to do. Hopefully it’s the start of something special.”

Raj said the rivals have both come a long way since her previous Test in Australia, which came before women’s cricket became professional.

“Women’s cricket globally has come a long way and it will only grow in coming years with the leagues around the globe,” the 38-year-old said.


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