Australia women’s cricket team aren’t simply a cricket team; they are a unit habitual of excellence and playing that rare brand of cricket that’s both entertaining and awe-inspiring. They are the torchbearers of women’s cricket and by virtue of domineering feats and big names have, time and again, beautified the surface of the women’s game, much like their seasoned excellence in the men’s firmament of the sport.
Right from the days of the great Miriam Knee and the undeniably great Sharon Tredrea to the present days of Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry and Tayla Vlaeminck, Australia women’s cricket has been there, done pretty much everything and is not done yet.
A fine example of this one learned recently where despite being on the backfoot for the majority of the historic, first-ever Pink ball Test, Australian captain Meg Lanning patted Mithali Raj’s team on the back when the ‘Great Meg’ already had to contend with not the greatest performance by her girls in the Test whites.
She offered admiration for a young India’s tenacity despite playing cricket in situations where one just knows that the Aussies are tough. That they punched way below their belt and would certainly have liked some improvement means just how difficult a challenge India posed at the Southern Stars.
That the iconic Pink Ball test was rather short lived with rains eating up nearly a day was just as sad as the four-day Test match template that’s the universal rule of Women’s Tests.
But there’s more!
The legendary Pink Ball test ended in a draw and this Pink Ball Test was actually one of the rare occasions where not a single Southern Stars talent touched a ninety odd score, forget the three mark figures.
Mooney made 15 from the bat whilst her opener at the other end, Healy contributed just 35 on the team total. Perry, meanwhile took her own sweet time to get going in the second inning though it wasn’t before an unbeaten 1 off 14 in the final inning.
Inspirational captain and a firm favourite of everyone Meg Lanning looked certain at the crease and seemed as though she was playing in a contest where her side did really lose the patience and spirit, though toughie didn’t at any stage.
On the other hand, the Indians under Mithali Raj were quietly confident and having a real go at the Aussies though Smriti’s fantastic first inning century, which truly was the shining light of the day.
Though one thing among the many was massively evident and refreshing to see and it’s the constant build up of pressure by India, by virtue of outplaying Australia in all departments of the game.
In modern parlance of Cricket, it’s quite a daunting climb to the top that peak but well, everyone persist. Though nothing that Australia do or did try to do could stop the Mandhana-fired hailstorm against OZ.
Though, the following inputs came to life after the Hindustan Times published them basis the result of the one and only Pink ball test, a contest where Australians were indeed pushed to the back of the wall before Perry and Lanning tried to salvage some fight in the final ining.
Here’s what HT.com say on the matter:
While India played with more intent in their second-innings, their 3d-135 was never going to leave Australia enough time to seriously consider changing the total down.
Australia lost openers Alyssa Healy (6) and Beth Mooney (11), but both teams shook hands with the score 2-36. Lanning (17) and Perry (1*) were the not out batters.
World Cup-winning coach Mott lamented Australia’s poor start on day one, where some short and wide-pitched bowling allowed Smriti Mandhana to score a spectacular 127.
At one point India were 1-195, before Mandhana fell to Gardner.
“The first word (to describe the Test) would be frustrating,” Mott said.
For a while we’ve been looking forward to this, we knew India would be a great challenge for us, and we thought we’d hit happy times winning the toss – the wicket had a tinge of green, and we had a very good pace attack.
“But we probably just missed our mark in the first hour and they got away to a really good start.
“We bowled too short and too wide … we set out, with picking so many fast bowlers, to make the most of the conditions … it was a bit slower than expected but I still think we didn’t execute exactly what we wanted to execute, and we paid a pretty heavy price.