India showed us how to play in testing conditions, says England's Knight

The England skipper did not forget to mention India’s approach with the bat

By PTI

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England's batter Heather Knight plays a shot during the one-off Test cricket match against India. - PTI
England's batter Heather Knight plays a shot during the one-off Test cricket match against India. - PTI

Published: Sat 16 Dec 2023, 8:03 PM

England captain Heather Knight on Saturday conceded India showed them how to play in testing conditions after Harmanpreet Kaur’s side notched up the biggest-ever win by runs in women's Test cricket.

Despite playing on home soil after nine years, India crushed England by 347 runs inside three days during their one-off Test here at the DY Patil Stadium.

On the third day, England lost all 10 wickets in a slightly extended first session as off-spinner Deepti Sharma and pacer Pooja Vastrakar shared seven wickets among them.

“It probably deteriorated a little bit faster than probably we expected. I think it was a reasonably good (pitch) in the first innings to bat on,” Knight told the media here after the conclusion of the game.

“Today (Saturday) they bowled outstandingly. They showed exactly how to play in these conditions, as you would expect.

“They just managed to get a little bit of nibble. It was the seam movement this morning when you hit a good area (and) that made it quite tough. That accounted for obviously a few wickets in our top-order,” Knight added.

Knight praised India seamer Vastrakar (3/23) for rattling England while taking the wickets of Sophie Dunkley and Nat Sciver-Brunt on successive deliveries.

“I thought PJ (Pooja Vastrakar) in particular was outstanding...the late seam that she got off the wicket,” Knight said.

“(A) good lesson to our bowlers about how to bowl in these conditions. Obviously, with the spin, it was quite extreme,” she said.

The England skipper did not forget to mention India’s approach with the bat on the first day, wherein they scored 410/7 at around 4.5 runs an over.

“We learned a lot from how India played in their first innings — how they found that right level between attack and and defence and trying to put pressure back on the bowlers,” Knight said.

“We learned a lot from that (and) tried to take it into today a little bit, but (the way) India bowled. They had an outstanding day and really suited these conditions in how they executed their plans,” she said.

Knight said it was ‘soul-destroying’ for England pacers as there was not enough carry on the pitch.

“There were a few nicks that did not carry, which can be quite soul-destroying for some of those fast bowlers when your best ball does not carry to the slips,” Knight said.

“We identified that the wobble ball was really effective and were trying to get as much out of that as we could." Knight said playing Test cricket in India can expose a cricketer to shortcomings.

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“Very, very extreme conditions for us. Something that India does (to you) as a cricketer.

"When you do face these extreme conditions, it really challenges you and exposes areas in your game that you need to be better and different skill sets that you need to have in different conditions,” she said.


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