Debutants Shubha Satheesh, Jemimah Rodrigues star on Day 1

Shubha Satheesh, Jemimah Rodrigues, Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma scored fifties on Day 1 of the India - England Test

Tanveer Singh Kapoor
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Shubha Satheesh

Shubha Satheesh (L) and Jemimah Rodrigues © Getty Images

India kicked off the opening day of the one-off Women's Test against England in a positive manner at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Thursday (December 14). On their first home Test match since 2014, the hosts posted 410 for 7, their highest score at the home soil, at the end of the day. Debutants Shubha Satheesh and Jemimah Rodrigues played vital roles at the start with fifites. Yastika Bhatia and Deepti Sharma followed the suit and alongside Harmanpreet Kaur helped India build that massive total.

Harmanpreet won the toss and decided to take advantage of the conditions by batting first. The Indian side didn't have the greatest of starts as they lost bright, sunny morning as Smriti Mandhana lost her wicket in the sixth over while getting beaten by an in-swinger from Lauren Bell. Shafali Verma was the second player to depart when the team score was just 47. That meant the responsibility of rebuilding was on the middle order.

This brought the debutants together and the duo of Shubha and Rodrigues played a massive part in that rebuilding. Shubha played drives with a lot of confidence and was able to face the English spinners comfortably except for a couple of occassions she edged through the slips.She brought up her maiden international fifty in style when she drove Kate Cross down the ground for a four.

However, a loose shot off Sophie Ecclestone meant she would get depart for 69 off 76 balls, but not before she made second fastest recorded fifty by an Indian in Test off just 49 balls. Together with Rodrigues, Shubha added 115 for the third wicket.

Rodrigues, who has an experience of 113 limited over fixtures for India, pulled out some of her trademark drives through the off side even as Shubha went about her business. In doing so, she also lent a helping hand in getting India to a comfortable position with her first fifty in the format. But when she reached 68, the diminutive right hander misjudged Bell’s in-swinger and was clean bowled.

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India needed another important partnership to take the game forward on a wicket that looked good for batting. That's when Harmanpreet and Bhatia stepped up as they put together 116 runs for the fifth wicket. The Indian captain needed just one run to complete her maiden Test half-century, but her bat got stuck on the pitch as she tried to slide it back in the crease and a direct hit by Danni Wyatt ended her innings. Playing as a wicket-keeper in her second Test, Bhatia contributed 66 crucial runs to India’s innings before losing her wicket to Charlie Dean. Bell, who dropped Bhatia when she was on, redeemed herself this time to complete the catch and sent the southpaw back to the pavilion.

Despite these wickets, the hosts continued to dominate England in the third session of the day even after Heather Knight opted for the new ball at the earliest. Deepti made sure that India wouldn't lose the momentum when she had a 92-run stand with fellow off spinner Sneh Rana.

The duo was dogged in their defence, but still found time to put away the bad deliveries for boundaries and in the process, Deepti brought up her third fifty in the format as well. Allrounder Nat Sciver-Brunt broke the partnership late in the day as the session extended by extra 30 minutes to complete the remaining overs.

India ended their productive day with more than 400 runs on the board and will be looking to put England under more pressure on Day 2 with allrounder Deepti and Pooja Vastrakar still at the crease.

Brief Scores - Day 1: India 1st Innings 410 for 7 in 94 overs (Shubha Satheesh 69, Jemimah Rodrigues 68, Yastika Bhatia 66, Deepti Sharma 60*; Lauren Bell 2/64) vs England