Sneh Rana, Deepti Sharma reap rewards of ball-by-ball, session-by-session approach
The one-off Test between England and India ended in a stalemate thanks to second-innings fifties from the tourists’ debutants Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma and Sneh Rana. A mini-collapse on Day 4 saw India slip from two for 171 to seven for 199, leaving them staring at a defeat. But Shikha Pandey and Rana combined for a 41-run stand that took over 100 balls, which helped India keep the English bowlers at bay before Rana added a record unbeaten 104 for the ninth wicket with Taniya Bhatia (44 not out).
“We were not nervous about the situation then,” said Rana speaking to the reporters after the Test.
“We just had to stick to our basics. We decided to focus on our basics despite the chatter around and got the desired result.”
Rana picked up four wickets in the first innings and then finished unbeaten on 80 when the teams were forced to shake hands due to bad light. There were about ten hours in the game left, which would have given her a shot at making a ton. She walked in when India were six down for 189 and steadied the ship after Pooja Vastrakar was dismissed.
“I wasn’t thinking much and kept myself busy in other things so that that situation won’t affect us. I don’t get too involved to stay calm and then play my natural game when I walk out.”
ALSO READ: Deepti Sharma: made for the long haul
“I didn’t focus on the century since I needed to just stay in the middle for the team,” she said of the missed opportunity. “I was taking it ball-by-ball and contribute for the team.”
Sharma, on the other hand, batted at seven in the first innings and stayed unbeaten on 29 even as India were dismissed for 231. Following on, she was sent in at three, where she played a patient innings and brought up her maiden half century in Tests.
“When I played in the first innings I was pretty confident and wanted to play close to the body,” said Sharma, who scored 54 off 168 balls.
“When I walked in at one down in the second innings, I wanted to take it session by session in line with the messages (from team management) I was getting.”
She also said that she enjoyed playing under pressure and didn’t have a sleepless night when she finished unbeaten on 18 at the end of Day 3.
“I enjoy every situation but enjoy playing under pressure. I wanted to do the best for the team and was relaxed and not thinking much.”
“I wanted to start Day 4 like I had ended Day 3. I wanted to carry on for as much as I could and take it ball by ball,” she concluded.