The lessons learnt from a rare international loss has Australia primed to exact revenge on India in the historic day-night Test which start on the Gold Coast on Thursday.
Sunday’s one-day loss to the tourists in Mackay ended the Australians’ 26-match world-record winning streak which had stretched back to 2017. It was just a fifth loss for the Aussies in the past 25 matches across ODIs and T20s, a period of white-ball domination.
Australian captain Meg Lanning conceded her team didn’t quite “nail it” in the three ODIs, which the home team won 2-1, played after several team members did 14-days hard quarantine and with a raft of new faces in the bowling attack.
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But while it was defeat in a different format as Australia prepares for its first Test match since the 2019 Ashes series, Lanning said plenty could be taken from the defeat – both good and bad.
“There were plenty of positives in that loss,” Lanning said.
“We would have loved to have won that game, but … we were able to really fight towards the end with the ball when we were on the back foot a fair bit throughout the bowling innings especially.
“We still took a bit of confidence out of that in terms of being able to push the game towards the end so we’re looking forward to getting the chance to improve on all three facets of the game.
“I don’t think we quite nailed it in the (three) ODIs, so this Test match provides us with the opportunity to do that.”
All-rounder Annabel Sutherland’s three wickets on Sunday was particularly impressive and the 19-year-old all-rounder is in strong position to make her Test debut against India.
The green tinge on the Metricon Stadium pitch will also aid Sutherland’s selection cause as the Australians figure out who to fill the gap left by injured opener Rachael Haynes.
Alyssa Healy will take over as vice-captain for Haynes who has been ruled out of the rest of the series.
With Beth Mooney likely to move to the top of the order in the absence of Haynes, a place in the middle-order looms for Sutherland.
“Annabel Sutherland bowled extremely well (on Sunday). She’s a young player who came in and took her opportunity,” Lanning said.
Another option to replace Haynes is emerging opener Georgia Redmayne.
“She’s a big loss, Rach, from our side both on and off the field,” Lanning said.
“She’s a very experienced player, an important part of our team. I’m very disappointed for her and for us, but the good thing is we’ve got some options there.
“It will depend a little bit on the wicket. There is a green tinge there, and that potentially brings some of our pace-bowling all-rounders into the frame.
“We just need to decide whether we want to go with the specific batter position or with the all-rounder position so we’ll make the call after training (on Wednesday).”
Lanning said the excitement was high in her team’s camp as the Australians prepared to meet India in a Test match for the first time in 15 years.
“India are a great cricketing nation and to have them out here playing a Test match is super exciting,” she said.
“Hopefully it’s the first of many to come, not just a one off, and we can go to play a Test match over in India over the next few years.
“Hopefully it’s the start of something really special.”