India Women will play a one-off Test against England Women in Bristol from Wednesday (June 16) and it will be Mithali Raj & Co.’s red-ball match in almost seven years.

Ahead of the big encounter in English conditions, Ajinkya Rahane – a Test specialist with 73 games and over 4500 runs under his belt – was requested by women’s team head coach Ramesh Powar for a practice session, primarily with the batters.

“We got a chance to have a word with the men’s players. I spoke to Ajinkya about my batting. Rahane shared his experience of how to play the moving ball in England. What kind of approach should one apply in red-ball cricket. He told us to concentrate on playing as close to the body as possible,” Mithali’s deputy Harmanpreet Kaur told reporters in the virtual press conference from Bristol on Monday.

“That was a friendly talk with Rahane. He has played a lot of Test cricket, and that was a good experience,” added Kaur.

Apparently, Harmanpreet asked Rahane an interesting question regarding the mindset of a batter, who is coming in after a long partnership.

“Ajinkya’s answer was the ability to switch on and switch off when a partnership is on. Have a chat, drink a cup of coffee, get a massage. So you need to switch off for some time only to switch on at the time when you get in.”

Though only a few of India women cricketers have had the experience of playing with the red-cherry, Harmanrpeet expressed hopes for the future.

“It is a totally different scenario when you play red-ball cricket,” she said. “As a player it is important to get used to conditions. We don’t even get any domestic games with the red ball but (I hope) in the upcoming seasons and years we will get more red-ball cricket, which will be very good for us.”

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