Surprise and respect as India batter walks

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India's Punam Raut has joined an exclusive club of batters to walk during an international cricket match in the women's Test against Australia on the Gold Coast.

Raut had made a patient 36 off 165 deliveries in India's first innings at Metricon Stadium when a delivery from spinner Sophie Molineux flashed past her outside edge and into the gloves of Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy.

Despite a half-hearted appeal and umpire Phillip Gillespie shaking his head and saying "not out", Raut turned on her heel and walked off.

Her sporting action was greeted with a standing ovation from her teammates as she crossed the boundary rope.

"Firstly we were like 'oh, why did you do that?'" century-maker Smriti Mandhana said after play.

"But then of course, yeah it's something that we all respect a lot.

"I think she's earned a lot of respect from all the teammates that she actually walked and I don't know how many people would actually do that in cricket at the moment men's or women."

Raut's action also earned praise from ex-Australian captain Lisa Sthalekar in commentary for the Seven Network.

"Talk about spirit of cricket," Sthalekar said.

"You don't get an opportunity to play Test cricket very often and Punam Raut says, 'I'm going because I know I hit it'.

"Extraordinary scenes out here."

Walking remains rare in international cricket, with Australian allrounder Ellyse Perry saying the hosts were surprised by Raut's decision.

"That's very much at her discretion whether or not she wanted to walk," Perry said.

"She did, so I suppose from our point of view, it was just acknowledging that but beside that there wasn't too much conversation about it."

Former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist was famous for walking throughout his career but was very much in the minority with that policy.

Given this week's Test is a rare opportunity to play the longest form of the game in women's cricket, with India and Australia playing a Test against each other for the first time in 15 years, Raut's decision appears even more laudable.

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