cricket team will break its almost seven-year long Test match drought when it faces England in a one-off game here from Wednesday.
This is also be the first time Indian women cricketers are playing England in a multi-format series. The two teams play one Test, three ODIs and three T20 Internationals.
While a result in the Test will fetch four points for the winning team, a draw will give two points to each side. A win in an ODI or T20I will secure two points.
The series winner will be decided on the basis of points collected across the three formats.
Indian women had last played a Test back in November, 2014, at home against South Africa. The Mithali Raj-led side had won that game by an innings. In August 2014, they had played England at Wormsley and defeated the home side by six wickets.
However, since then they have not played any Test match. Their problem of inexperience was compounded by Covid-19 pandemic that did not allow any long format cricket during the 2020-21 domestic season.
Mithali, who is 38 now, will again lead the side. She and pace bowler Jhulan Goswami, who is also 38, are the most experienced players in this Indian women’s team, having played 10 Test matches each.
Other celebrated Indian women cricketers like Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana have played just two Test matches, both in 2014.
“We may not have much practice under our belt [ahead of this Test], but we are prepared mentally. We have discussed a lot of things so we prepare ourselves well for the match. Even in the nets, we have tried to be in a good frame of mind because when you are happy, other than thinking too much about your batting, you tend to play well,” Test team vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur had said on Tuesday.
The three ODIs will be played between June 27 to July 3 followed by three T20Is from July 9 to 15.
Squads (for the one-off Test):
India: Mithali Raj (captain), Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wicketkeeper), Indrani Roy (wicketkeeper), Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav.
England: Heather Knight (captain), Emily Arlott, Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Tash Farrant, Amy Jones (wicketkeeper), Nat Sciver (vice-captain), Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield-Hill.