Indian opener Smriti Mandhana believes her team is still in a good position with debutant Shafali Verma going strong in the second innings of the one-off Test against England in Bristol. India were 83 for 1, still trailing by 82 runs with nine wickets in hand, at the end of Day 3 after being asked to follow-on.
"I think the conditions changed slightly, it was just windy. It wasn't swinging that much. It was good conditions to bat on though the conditions were cloudy and overcast," Mandhana said in a virtual media conference.
"I think Shafali and Deepti are putting on a good partnership and at the end of the day we were in a good position."
Shafali and Deepti were batting on 55 and 18 respectively before the final session was washed out. Mandhana scored just 8 runs in the second innings after a 78 in the first. "I gave away my wicket though it was not such great a ball. I am disappointed. Would have loved to have stayed there and come back fresh tomorrow to bat. I think that's what cricket is."
The left-handed opener heaped heavy praise on her partner Shafali, who missed on a ton in the first innings by just four runs. "I think we are very similar as we like to keep things simple. The way she changed her game and the maturity she showed. It is very positive for Indian cricket going forward. I hope she keeps going the way she is."
Asked about the discussion in the team after being asked to follow on, she said: "I think the transition was pretty quick. We just had 10-15 minutes before we went into bat. We did not bat that great in the first innings and the talk was that we have to make up for it in the second innings."
Mandhana feels lack of experience in negotiating the closing stages of a session was a major reason behind the batting collapse India suffered in the first innings. "Definitely, a slight pressure of ending the day 'not out', might have played a part (in the loss of wickets in a heap) and that will come with experience.
"The more we play Test matches, the more we'll get used to the conditions - one over before lunch or one over before the day's end and all those sessions, so we can be more mature about (approaching them) and not take pressure."