Mithali Raj's team will be returning to Test cricket after a break of 2401 days. It is the third-longest gap between two Tests for India Women, with two of the top three intervals coming in the last 15 years. India toured England in 2014 for a one-off Test and hosted South Africa for a Test the same year. Those are the only matches for India Women in Test cricket in the past 14 years, by far the fewest they have played in any decade.
Historically, only one-third of women's Tests have produced a result. However, there has been a steep decline in the percentage of draws since 2000, with only 46.67% of matches in this period ending in a draw. Until 1999, 68.18% of women's Tests were drawn, with only 35 out of 110 producing a result.
England will start as the more experienced side in Bristol, having played Test cricket more often than India. Only eight players in the India squad have played a Test, compared to 11 in the hosts' side. England have played three Tests matches since India last played, all against Australia as part of the Women's Ashes. However, India players have played more multi-innings cricket than England. Four editions of the domestic inter-zone women's multi-day competitions took place in India between 2015 and 2018.
India hold the edge in the head-to-head record (13 completed games) between the two teams in women's Tests. India won their two most recent meetings against England and have lost only once, by two runs in 1995. England have hosted eight completed women's Tests against India, not winning any of them.
If things go their way in Bristol, India will break the record for the most consecutive wins in women's Tests. They have won their last three, two against England in England and one against South Africa in India. That has them level with Australia for the most consecutive Test wins. A win in Bristol will also leave India one series shy of equalling the record for the most consecutive series wins in women's Tests, also held by Australia.
Sampath Bandarupalli is a statistician at ESPNcricinfo