Sandhya Agarwal: UK weather conditions not like before, it could help India

Former batter Agarwal, who still holds the record for the most Test runs (1,110) among Indian women, feels the playing XI should savour the moment and do something special in the solitary Test against England.

Former India cricketer Sandhya Agarwal at her office in Indore. (FILE PHOTO)   -  WRIDDHAAYAN BHATTACHARYYA

Sandhya Agarwal, the first global superstar of Indian women’s cricket team, has been calling for the restoration of Test cricket among the girls for a long time. She will perhaps be the happiest to catch Mithali Raj and Co. in action against England in Bristol from Wednesday.

Agarwal, who still holds the record for the most Test runs (1,110) among Indian women, feels India has the talent to overcome the challenges and come out victorious.

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“The best XI will have the responsibility to savour this moment and do something special in this one-off Test after seven years. England will have an advantage at home but India has a lot of talent. I don’t see any concern as both Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami are still playing. They are performing and so are the youngsters,” she told Sportstar on Tuesday.

In the tour of England in 1986, the right-handed batter had scored two centuries. After smashing 132 in Blackpool, she broke Betty Snowball’s score of 189 in Worcester, a record untouched since 1935. But those were different conditions altogether. “Now, the weather has changed in England. There is a bit of heat.

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"In ‘86, it was breezy and windy with spells of showers which made it challenging to bat. So if the weather is not the typical English weather, it could be India’s advantage,” added Agarwal, who feels victory in the solitary Test could set the stage for future games.

She called for a balance between the formats. “Test cricket is a must. Even the men play a lot of ODI and T20I but they do play regular Tests. If girls play regular Tests, not only in India, it will have an impact on women’s cricket worldwide.

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"International teams will come, they will go. It will create a platform and there will be a lot of respect for women’s cricket. And a good performance here can be a massive boost to their confidence when they go to Australia for the day-night Test,” said Agarwal, who finished her career with four Test centuries and as many fifties in 13 appearances between 1984-1995.

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