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Curious to see what pink ball does in twilight: Mithali Raj

With the 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Australia and ODI series to follow, the team has got very little time to prepare for the Test

File photo: India's Mithali Raj during the One Day International cricket match at New Road One, Worcester, England, Saturday, July 3, 2021. (AP/PTI)

Gold Coast, Sep 29 (PTI) India skipper Mithali Raj is "curious" to see what the pink ball does, especially in the twilight period, as the women's team goes into its first-ever day-night Test against Australia with only two days of practice.

With the 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Australia and ODI series to follow, the team has got very little time to prepare for the Test, beginning here on Thursday. India had one day session on Tuesday and will have practice under lights on Wednesday.

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"To be very honest, I don't have the experience of playing with the pink ball. It is going to be my first (time) as well. I am quite curious to see around that period (twilight) when they say that it's going to be a little difficult. I can only say, when I experience it," said Mithali ahead of the landmark fixture.

The pink ball, which has an extra coating of lacquer for retaining shine and visibility, tends to skid more than the red ball and moves a lot under lights.

Though India lost the preceding ODI series 1-2, they were able to break Australia's 26-match winning steak and fought hard in the second and third game. Mithali said the team has gained a lot of confidence from that performance.

“The team is definitely confident. Playing the best side before the ODI World Cup is great preparation. I do understand the first game was a bit of flash cricket we played and I really had to have a hard talk with the team and the girls really responded very well,” she said. “We were looking to post a big total that was our target and we did that.”

"The team is quite excited. It's a different experience for us to play with the pink ball in a day night game. Usually the Test is played in the day and what we played against England was with the red ball. So it is going to be very different," she added.

In their first Test in almost seven years, India did well to eke out a draw against England. India and Australia last played a Test in 2006 and Mithali said both teams "have come a long way since then". "In the one-day format, we posted good totals. It was a very good and a tight series. Overall, women's cricket globally has come a long way and it is only going to grow," she said.

Australia have a formidable pace attack despite the absence of a few experienced bowlers. With the emergence of Meghna Singh in ODIs, Indian pace department has also been bolstered.

"It should be one the best pace attacks Indian team has had. With the experience of Jhulan, young speedster Meghna Singh her first series has been very impressive and Pooj Vastrakar, a who made a comeback after two years, we are trying shape her as an all-rounder. I am happy to see the progress they have made and results are there to see for everybody," Mithali added. 

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