The three-match ODI series between India and Australia has set the perfect tone for the historic pink-ball Test that will be played this week. Though Australia won the series 2-1, the multi-format affair is wide open with another four games to go, including one Test and three T20Is.
After a dismal performance in the first ODI, Women in Blue finally arrived when they almost won the second ODI as Australia snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on the very last ball. Taking up from where they had left, Mithali Raj and co. fought hard in the third ODI to finally break Australia’s 26-match winning streak in ODI cricket. The streak started in 2018 when Australia beat India and the streak ended in 2021 when India defeated Australia.
With everything to play for over the next 10 days, all eyes will be set on this India- Australia Test that will commence from September 30.
Test Squads for India Women and Australia Women
Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Darcie Brown, Maitlan Brown, Stella Campbell, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Georgia Redmayne, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
India: Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Shikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh, Ekta Bisht
Players to watch out for
Meg Lanning: With Rachael Haynes missing out from the remainder of the series, the Australian captain will have to shoulder additional responsibility of not only batting but also of leadership. The otherwise fluent stroke-maker had a tough outing in the ODI series as she failed to score big. The right hand managed to muster only 59 runs in three innings. With a dismal performance in the ODIs, the Australian captain will be raring to go in the upcoming games.
Ellyse Perry: The star all-rounder had a horror time with both bat and ball. Over the years, she has been a prolific performer for Australia but during the recently concluded ODI series, she failed to make a mark. The great players can’t remain quiet for long and it is just a matter of an innings that the right-hand bat and right-arm speedster will be swinging her way back to form.
Mithali Raj: The Indian captain is the most experienced Test player in the side. India-Australia played their last Test against each other in 2006. Mithali Raj is one of the two players from both camps to have played that Test. With 11 Tests and a double century under her belt, India will want their skipper to fire in the longest format.
Jhulan Goswami: She was terrific in the ODI series as she had an impact with both bat and ball. Hitting the winning runs in the third ODI would do a world of good to her confidence going into the Test. Alongside Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami is the only other player to have featured in that India-Australia Test played in 2006.
The weather does not look too good since there is around 50% chance of rain on the first and second day of the Test. Day 3 and Day 4 weather forecasts are good as there is just around 0.5% of rain. The average temperatures are around 25 degrees Celsius in the afternoon and they drop to around 18 degrees Celsius in the evening.
As per the photo of the pitch released, it looks to be a good wicket that will help the pace bowlers. There is a layer of grass on the wicket which will help the fast bowlers to generate pace and bounce.
Fantasy playing XI
Alyssa Healy, Richa Ghosh, Meg Lanning, Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana, Ashleigh Gardner, Deepti Sharma, Jhulan Goswami, Ellyse Perry, Sophie Molineux, Darcie Brown
Date: September 30 – October 3, 2021
Venue: Carrara Oval, Queensland
Time: 11.30 am IST
Live streaming: Sony Liv
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.