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D/N Test in Australia, Dukes balls in England excite Smriti

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Mumbai, May 26 (IANS) Opening batswoman Smriti Mandhana on Wednesday said that the Indian team was excited about playing its maiden day-night Test in Australia this year, though its immediate task was to focus on the Dukes ball in England next month.

The India team will play a one-off Test against England from June 16-20 in Bristol, and it will be followed by a three-match ODI and a three-match T20I series.

The team will then visit Australia in September-October, when it will play a pink-ball Test in Perth from September 30 to October 4.

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“Frankly, when I used to watch day-night Tests of men, I actually never felt that I will be able to experience this moment — it’s wrong to say ‘I’ at the moment — that the Indian team will be able to experience the moment,” Smriti told espncricinfo.com

“So, when it got declared, I was like, ‘Oh, wow. That’s going to be crazy.’ Now that we are going to play a day-night match, [we have] lots of things to work on but [there’s a] lot of excitement…excitement about being part of a day-night Test match, and that too in Australia, against Australia; it’s always a good challenge. It’s going to be a great moment for the Indian women’s cricket team,” said the 24-year-old cricketer, who has played two Tests, both in 2014.

Smriti, who is currently in mandatory quarantine in Mumbai before flying out to England, said the excitement around playing a Test after nearly seven years was unimaginable.

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“When we got to know of the first Test, against England, the whole team was really excited. We all were looking forward [to it]. The last Test match I was part of was in 2014, so it’s been quite a long time; we haven’t gone out in whites, so that excitement of playing a Test match [after nearly seven years] was on another level,” she said.

Smriti made her Test debut against England in August 2014 in Wormsley and then played South Africa in Mysore three months later. India won both matches.

–IANS

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