AUSW v INDW 2021: “Punam Raut has earned a lot of respect for walking out,” says Smriti Mandhana

Punam Raut | GETTY

India women’s opener Smriti Mandhana opened up on the team’s reaction to Punam Raut walking-off despite being given not-out in the pink-ball Test match against Australia on Friday (October 1). Mandhana was surprised that Punam chose to walk without the umpire’s decision against her, but the act gained her a lot of respect from teammates.

“At first our reaction was, ‘oh why did she do that, was there an edge?’ But yeah, it’s something we respect a lot. She’s earned a lot of respect for actually walking out,” said Mandhana.

“I don’t know how many people will actually do that in cricket at the moment, men’s or women’s if there’s no DRS. Nowadays people walk out because there’s DRS, but to walk off when there is no DRS – I don’t know (how many would). Definitely, she’s earned a lot of respect from all of us for doing that,” she added.

The incident happened in the 81st over when left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux managed to get the outside edge of Raut, who tried to defend the ball on the front foot. The wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy looked excited as soon as she collected the ball but the umpire was not impressed.

But despite the on-field umpire adjudging it not out, Raut, who scored 36 runs off 165 deliveries, was seen walking off.

This is India women’s first-ever Day-Night Test match and Mandhana created history by scoring a hundred. India has scored 276/5 at the stumps of Day 2. The match has been affected by rain and the India opener said the team isn’t in a position to declare yet.

“Well, actually it’s very difficult to plan because the rain has played such an important factor today and yesterday.

“We’ve almost lost a day’s play altogether off the four we have. And in the last (hour) we lost two wickets, so tomorrow morning we’ll have to start stabilizing the innings. Then, from there, we’ll have a launchpad from where we can actually declare.

“If there were two set batters out there, we would have had a different plan maybe, but at the moment we’d look to stabilize initially and then maybe think when to launch or about the declaration. But I don’t think we’re in the state yet to think about (declaration).”

Mandhana’s 127 is the highest score against Australia Down Under in women’s Tests. She is also the first cricketer after Ellyse Perry to score a Test century after 2014.

“…Pretty special do something like breaking a 70-year old record – I don’t think I’ve done something like that ever in my life. I am just more than happy that I could actually give that kind of foundation for the team.

“The individual feats will happen, but the kind of position the team is in – I’m happy with that more,” she said.