India women's cricket team spinner Sneh Rana has dedicated her stellar Test debut performance to her late father, who died a few days before she was named in the side for the ongoing one-off game against England here. Comfortably placed at 230 for two, England were rattled by Rana (3/77) and all-rounder Deepti Sharma (2/50) as they picked two wickets each in the final session of the opening day to bring India back in the Test, the team's first in seven years.
''I lost my father two months back. When this team was announced, a little before that, I lost him. It was a bit difficult, it was an emotional moment because he wanted to see me play again for India,'' Rana said during the press conference that followed after day one's play on Wednesday.
''But unfortunately, he can't. It's okay, it is part of life, but whatever I did after that and whatever I will do now, I will dedicate everything to him,'' she said.
England lost four wickets for 21 runs in seven overs in the final session.
Rana said the pitch was a bit on the slower side but it suited them since it offered turn right from the beginning.
''The pitch was a little slow at the early stage, but it helped the spinners, because it was turning a bit from starting only.
''It's a really good wicket to bat on. I think it will remain the same tomorrow.'' Opting to bat, England women were 269/6 at stumps. Skipper Heather Knight top-scored with a patient 95.
The 27-year-old spinner said she got to know about her debut in the team meeting.
''In the practice sessions, we used to speak to the captain (Mithali Raj) and coach (Ramesh Powar), on what to do, how to bowl, what needs to be done.
''I was playing for the first time in a Test, where the scenario is a bit different from one-days and T20s, so we used to speak daily about it.'' Coach Ramesh Powar had urged Rana, whose scalps included Tammy Beaumont, Amy Jones and Georgia Elwiss, to bowl to her strengths.
''Those who observe from the outside know better. He did not put any pressure but said that bowl to strength and follow the basics.
''So, I did not do anything extra on that ball (on which I got my first wicket), I just tried bowling to my strengths and it worked out.'' Rana, who made a comeback to the national team after five years, said that she was rewarded for her performances in the domestic circuit.
''Actually, I suffered from an injury, due to which I was away from cricket for a year, but I have constantly played domestic (cricket) after that, and on the basis of that performance, I made a comeback to the Indian team after five years,'' she said.
Stressing that one should not give up, Rana said that her comeback could inspire a few people.
''Many people think we cannot make a comeback or making a comeback in international (cricket) is difficult, especially in women's cricket. So I feel because of me some people would have been inspired and we should not give up,” the off-spinner signed off.