In the buildup to India vs. England Women’s Test match, Heather Knight expressed her disappointment with playing on a used pitch. The Bristol County Grounds, the venue, had hosted the Gloucestershire vs. Sussex T20 Blast match on 11th June 2021. This was a break from tradition as Tests are usually played on fresh pitches.
This Bristol Test was the first Women’s Test pitting the two sides in seven years. Knight revealed this information on the eve of the Bristol Test match and noted that it was too late to change the turf or get a venue with a fresh pitch. They only found out that the T20 Blast teams had already used the pitch a week before the match. Nevertheless, the 30-year-old batter promised to lead her team to victory despite the ground conditions. She also noted that appearances could be deceiving because a pitch could actually be better than it looks or surpasses expectations.
Knight will be playing her 100th match as England Captain and her eighth test match. She has a distinguished history in the test format of cricket, including her highest score of 157 in the Ashes draw at Wormsley. However, she accedes that she is desperate to continue excelling at red-ball cricket after tasting success in that format.
Mithali Raj, the Indian skipper, on the other hand, was calm about the pitch conditions. The 38-year-old batter promised to play her best as player and captain regardless of whether the pitch was fresh or not. Her team was hungry for a win in the Women’s Test Match, and they would plan their strategies accordingly.
The ECB, through a spokesman, expressed their apologies for not providing a fresh pitch for this fixture. The spokesman blamed the late addition of this Test match into the calendar and the lack of available first-class grounds for this blunder. The spokesman added that pitches for upcoming India’s fixtures with England would be freshly prepared except for the Hove grounds where the second T20I will occur where they will use a hybrid pitch.
This one-off India vs. England test match, which was played on the 16th to 19th June, ended in a dramatic draw. England won the toss and elected to bat. However, England was unable to capitalize on its big first-innings lead. Shafali Verma, the seventeen-year-old Indian batter, had an incredible game earning the player of the Match title. She scored 159 runs in two innings. The resulting draw in the Bristol Test means both teams earned two points each.
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