Gold Coast, Oct 1 (IANS) Indian opener Smriti Mandhana said that her team respects the decision of Punam Raut walking out despite the umpire Phillip Gillespie shaking his head on day two of the one-off Test against Australia in Metricon Stadium on Friday. On a day when Smriti made her first Test century, the cricketing world was abuzz with varied opinions on Punams decision to walk off.
The incident took place in the 81st over of India’s innings when Punam, batting on 36 off 165 balls, decided to walk off after believing to have nicked left-arm Sophie Molineux behind to wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy. Punam stretched forward to block the delivery but the ball spun away and went behind to Alyssa. The Australians didn’t appeal whole-heartedly but Punam had walked away by then.
“First we reacted, like, ‘Oh, why did she do that?’ But, then, of course, it’s something that we all respect a lot. I think she has earned a lot of respect from all the team-mates that she actually walked out. And I don’t know how many people would actually do that in cricket at the moment – men’s or women’s,” said Smriti to reporters after the day’s play was brought to a close due to rain.
“Nowadays people walk out because there is DRS. But when there is no DRS and to walk out, I don’t know. So, definitely she has earned a lot of respect from us, but, yeah, the first reaction was, ‘Oh, was it actually an edge or why did she walk?’ That was out first reaction,” added Smriti.
When the Punam walk-off question was put to Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry, she said, “Yeah, there seem to be a really faint edge. That’s very much at her discretion whether or not she wanted to walk. And she did so, I suppose so from our point of view it’s just acknowledging that. Besides that, there wasn’t too much conversation about it.”
When batter Beth Mooney was asked by the commentators whether she would have walked, she instantly replied, “Nup, no chance.”
Punam was playing her first game of the tour to Australia. She didn’t feature in the ODI series at Mackay and isn’t a part of the squad of the T20I series in Gold Coast coming after the pink-ball Test.