"Now is her chance to prove her value to India's Test side" - Lisa Sthalekar on Punam Raut

The Australia v India pink-ball Test match will begin on Thursday.
The Australia v India pink-ball Test match will begin on Thursday.

After ending Australia's 26-match unbeaten streak in the three-match ODI series, Team India will be looking to deliver another impressive outing in their maiden pink-ball Test.

The hosts clinched a thrilling three-match ODI series 2-1. However, after India's win in the final ODI, the Mithali Raj-led team is expected to go toe-to-toe against the mighty Australians in a different format.

Ahead of the only Test in this multi-format series, former cricketer Lisa Sthalekar discussed some key aspects to look forward to in this historic game with Cricbuzz. The former Australian all-rounder believes India have a specialist at No. 3 in Punam Raut. Here's what she had to say:

"Punam Raut is a specialist in the number three spot. She has been sitting on the sidelines, itching away. Now is her chance to prove how valuable she is to the team, especially in Test cricket. If she can get on top of the pace and bounce quickly, she will do really well."

The former Australian player also suggested that Yastika Bhatia has done enough to earn her Test debut, with doubts looming over Harmanpreet Kaur's fitness. She said:

"The No. 5 spot is a bit of a toss-up between two players who have shown us something exciting. That's Yastika Bhatia and Richa Ghosh. I'd go with Yastika Bhatia at five. She's a left-hander, so it offers something different in that middle order as well. Taniya Bhatia should come in because I think you've got to have your best glove-person behind the stumps."
Both vice-captains ruled out of the pink ball Test match….which team will suffer the most without their VC? #AusvInd

India's pacers against the Australian openers will be a key battle: Lisa Sthalekar

All feeling very real now! 🏏Don't miss the #AUSvIND Test starting at 2pm tomorrow, live on @7Cricket, @FoxCricket and @kayosports.

Lisa Sthalekar also suggested that there could be some intriguing battles to watch out for. She stated that she cannot wait to see India's pacers, Jhulan Goswami and Meghna Singh, with the pink ball under the lights. Sthalekar said:

"I can't wait to see Jhulan Goswami and Meghna Singh with the pink ball under the lights. I think Meghna Singh against Alyssa Healy could be a key battle to watch out for. We've seen some of it in the ODI's and it's only going to get better with the pink ball under lights."

Sthalekar added:

"Jhulan Goswami against Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning will be another one. She's already picked them both up with peaches of a delivery. Goswami is like great wine. She only gets better."

The pink-ball Test will start on Thursday, September 30 at the Carrara Oval in Queensland and will begin in India at 10 am IST.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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