Australia begins early preparation for December’s pink ball Test in India

 – Gudstory

Australia begins early preparation for December’s pink ball Test in India – Gudstory

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Australian women’s cricketers have begun training with pink balls during the ongoing ODI series with the West Indies in preparation for the day-night Test against India in December, which is likely to be played in Mumbai.

Even with West Indies star Hayley Matthews likely to return from a quad injury in the second ODI at Junction Oval in Melbourne after missing the first ODI loss in Brisbane, the hosts spent the lead-up to Thursday’s match in Melbourne practicing with pink balls.
The iconic Wankhede Stadium is set to host a Test in December in what will be India’s first women’s domestic Test since 2014. Mumbai hosted Australia’s last women’s Test in India in February 1984. India and Australia tied at Carrara on the Gold Coast in a day-night Test in October 2021 .
“I think the coaches thought it might be a good opportunity to just try out the pink balls,” junior Annabelle Sutherland said Wednesday.

“We had a test run on the Gold Coast and we couldn’t prepare much for that just because of the short notice for the series and with Covid [restrictions].

“You look at the guys, they are often interchanging red and white balls over close periods of time, so if we can get comfortable with the pink ball, the red ball, the white ball, whatever it is, it will definitely go ahead.” Even Test matches [easier].

“Any opportunity you get to play in India is one you look forward to.”

Sutherland, who turns 22 on Thursday, is keen to spend more time in the middle but will continue to bide her time up the order. Already with a Test and ODI century to her name, Sutherland has come down to bat at number seven in matches against the Windies so far this summer.

Australia has such depth with bat and ball that players who can open up for their state and in franchise cricket are regularly relegated to the lower order.

“I’m always ready for more time in the middle,” Sutherland said Wednesday. “I’m in the coach’s ear all the time, I’m sure I’m annoying [coach Shelley Nitschke] Just like a few others who are very keen to succeed.

“The girls at the top are doing a very good job as always. I’m happy to be patient at the moment and watch the girls do their job at the top.”

Sutherland said Australia were expecting Matthews to return from a quad injury after the star was sorely missed by the West Indies during Sunday’s heavy defeat.

Matthews fired 310 runs off 178 balls across the T20 leg of the tour, lifting West Indies into a world record chase and giving hope in the two T20I defeats.

Australia will be without Darcy Brown after she was ruled out of the rest of the ODI series with a hamstring injury. Heather Graham has been called up to the Australia squad as cover.


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