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Updated December 24th, 2023 at 16:57 IST

Harmanpreet's spell on third day was turning point: Sneh Rana

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's spell on the third evening was the turning point in the one-off women's Test between India and Australia which the hosts won by eight wickets, said all-rounder Sneh Rana here on Sunday.

Harmanpreet Kaur cleberating a wicket
Harmanpreet Kaur cleberating a wicket | Image:BCCIWomen/X
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Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's spell on the third evening was the turning point in the one-off women's Test between India and Australia which the hosts won by eight wickets, said all-rounder Sneh Rana here on Sunday.

Kaur brought herself on after Australia's resurgent batting display kept India on the field for a large part of the third day and dismissed Tahlia McGrath (73) and Alyssa Healy (32), after they had reduced the first-innings deficit of 187 runs and taken a slender lead of 46 runs.

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India came out firing on all cylinders to bowl Australia out for 261 after they resumed play at 233/5 on the fourth day and easily chased the target of 75 runs.

"We were not thinking much and wanted to stay in the present. Harmanpreet's two wickets were the turning point," Rana told the media after India's maiden win over Australia in Tests when asked about the turning point in the match.

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Rana seconded India captain Kaur in acknowledging that head coach Amol Muzumdar had a key role to play in their strong performances.

"As Harmanpreet said, he had an important role in the team. He has been a very experienced player and all his inputs have been good," Rana said.

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"We have tried to follow that and the result can be seen in the last two Tests. We are very thankful that he has come on as a coach. In the future too we hope to continue doing well under him," she added.

On the fourth and final day spinners Rana, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Deepti Sharma tamed the Australian batters with a superlative bowling show that saw the visitors lose five wickets for 28 runs.

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Rana said the fact that they all compliment each other with on-field discussions worked in their favour.

"We try to talk a lot among ourselves when we are in (the field) and remain calm," she said.

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"Each of us back our respective strengths and we discuss about what is working in terms of which kind of delivery is behaving how and what you have to bowl to a batter." "We try to keep it simple and not overcomplicate it and whatever we speak about on the field compliments us. We have had partnerships in both batting and bowling and the result is in front of us," Rana added.

Rana said given the lack of Test assignments for the Indian team it was imperative to keep things simple.

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"The preparations were simple, we had no need of experimenting a lot because red-ball cricket is a long game. We kept it simple, we were calm and I have always prepared to bowl in my channels. I back my strengths and in these two matches I tried to do the same," she said.

With an overall seven wickets in the Test — including a four-wicket haul in the second innings — Rana said she was finding it difficult to describe her feeling.

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"It is an amazing feeling to have contributed for the team. It is difficult to describe this feeling in words," she said.

"It (team's win) matters a lot since the Test is happening in India and that too after so many years.

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"Test cricket is the real format and everyone rates it highly, we are very fortunate to have got to play two back to back Tests in home conditions. I hope that we keep getting more Tests and it will be better for the future generations (of players) as well," Rana added.

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Published December 24th, 2023 at 16:56 IST

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