England captain Heather Knight is open to five-day women's Tests after the one-off red-ball encounter against India ended in a thrilling draw in Bristol on Saturday (June 19). India were bundled out for 231 in their first innings and was then reduced to 199/7 in the second essay after being asked to follow on. They were leading by only 34 runs but that's when Sneh Rana (80*), Shikha Pandey (18) and Bhatia (44*) batted with tremendous courage and didn't allow England to emerge victorious.
"I think it has been brilliant. What an advert it has been. It was a shame it probably ended with a fizzle but it has been great. There has been some real skill shown, it has been exciting, there has been some aggressive cricket. It's a good advert to play more and even maybe have a five-day Test match. I'd definitely be open to that. I think there's been a lot of draws in women's Test cricket so it's definitely something that I think should be looked at," said Knight.
"I think if there was another day, what a finish that would have been. We were almost robbed of that finish because there wasn't an extra day and we didn't have the time in the game. We talked a lot leading into the week about how we want to go about things and we executed it brilliantly. Being positive and taking the game forward when we could but also being tight and going with the ebbs and flows of the game."
India looked down and out on the fourth and final day but Rana and Bhatia thwarted England with their 104-run partnership for the ninth wicket. Both the teams took two points each from the first game of the multi-format series.
Knight was still pleased with the way her team went about their business and especially praised left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone, who took eight wickets in the game. Debutants likes Sophia Dunkley and India's Shafali Verma too were brilliant.
"Sophie Ecclestone bowled 60-odd overs in the match. I love captaining her and she is a real weapon with the ball. I am really chuffed for her but gutted she couldn't get that first five-for (after taking four-wicket hauls in both India innings). For the seamers to run in and hit the deck when it wasn't giving them a huge amount was a massive effort. I am really proud of them.
"We have got some real young talent. Sophia Dunkley performing the way she did on debut was outstanding and the future is definitely bright. Credit also to how India played. I thought Shafali was outstanding."