IND-W vs AUS-W Pink-ball Test: Smriti Mandhana reveals, ‘During The Hundred, I ordered a pink kookaburra ball’ after unbeaten 80 on Day 1

India opener Smriti Mandhana said star batter Shafali Verma wasn’t nervous playing the Test match for the first time with pink-ball on Thursday.

Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma stitched a 93-run stand for the first wicket but the latter got out without completing her fifty. “Shafali Verma wasn’t really nervous, she was also pumped up. She also wanted to go there and bat. Definitely, she missed few balls but given the wicket and the conditions that are bound to happen. She came back stronger, she would think about her dismissal. She was ready to take them on,” said Smriti Mandhana in a virtual press conference after the match.

Smriti Mandhana had got the ball rolling at the start as she scored with a strike rate of 100 before slowing it down.

” Initially they had more fielders in the slip and not ahead later on. I think after 15 overs they changed the strategy, I think they had fieldset because of the one day match. I didn’t want to do extra something, try something which I would do in ODI or T20, so I don’t think it (slowing down) was a conscious effort or it happened because of the breaks, it was more of because of the fieldset,” she said while replying to a query from ANI.

Rain played spoilsport at the Carrara Oval even as India opener Mandhana showed glimpses of her capability to take the attack to the opposition on the opening day of the pink-ball Test against Australia on Thursday.

The first day ended with India on 132-1 and Mandhana and Punam Raut unbeaten on 80 and 16 respectively. The only wicket that fell was of Shafali Verma in the opening session.

“We just had two sessions with the pink ball. After coming from The Hundred, I didn’t really get much time to play with the pink ball, but during The Hundred, I just ordered a pink kookaburra ball, just to keep it in my room because I knew that there is going to be a Test match so that I can just look at the ball and understand,” said Mandhana.

“I have actually not batted, I batted for just two sessions but the pink ball was there in my kit bag for the last two and a half, three months. I don’t know why I carried it, I thought I will have a session but I really didn’t get time to do that,” she added.

Rain had forced an early call for tea before the day was eventually called off. The remaining days of the ongoing pink-ball Test will begin 30 minutes earlier.