QUEENSLAND: After the pink-ball Test against India ended in a draw, Australia women's cricket team coach Matthew Mott praised Mithali Raj-led side for maintaining pressure throughout the game.
Australia and India settled for a draw as the time ran out on the final day in Carrara on Sunday. Both teams earned two points each meaning Australia leading the multi-format series with 6 points heading into the three T20Is, while India is on 4.
"We knew India would be a great challenge for us, and we thought we'd hit happy times winning the toss and the wicket had a tinge of green. We had a very good pace attack, but we probably just missed our mark in the first hour and they got away to a really good start. From there on we just felt like we were clawing back a little bit," ESPNcricinfo quoted Mott as saying.
"I thought India played really well. Mandhana's innings was exceptional. But we were behind for the rest of the match and they held all the aces, they earned the right to put us under pressure. And we never really got back in the game," he added.
Talking about Smriti Mandhana's 127-run knock in the first innings, Mott said: "Think our catching was a bit of an issue, obviously had upwards of eight chances in the first inning so the bowlers created the opportunities but unfortunately we weren't good enough to capitalise so left to rue that. But I was really proud of the way we hung in there we kept our standards right the end."
"Batting-wise, we were under the pump but we showed a bit of fight, making sure we got past that follow-on because that could have made it really interesting. Ellyse Perry again showed her skill and determination to get us over the line there... and it's something the rest of the group could probably learn a little bit from. We don't get exposed to that too often but I'm sure the batting group will reflect on what worked for her in this Test and why she was able to keep out more good balls. We probably played at a few we didn't have to, but the pressure that India built up led us that way as well," he added.
Chasing 272 runs in the final session of the final day, Australia negotiated a draw despite losing two early wickets. India held command in the majority of the Test but that wasn't enough to force a result as rain on the first two days significantly reduced the number of overs bowled. Smriti Mandhana with her maiden Test ton was awarded the Player of the Match.