News Analysis

Australia and India will meet in a Test for the first time in 15 years with the added dimension of it being just the second day-night encounter in the women’s game

Test match farewell?

Unless India unexpectedly put another Test on their schedule in the next six months, this match could mark the final outing for two of their greats: captain Mithali Raj and pace bowler Jhulan Goswami. They are expected to call time on their international careers after the ODI World Cup in New Zealand next March. For both this will be their 12th Test – they made their debuts against England at Lucknow in 2002 and have played in each of India’s Tests since. Raj’s statistical highpoint was a double century at Taunton 2002 but for both the most significant moment of their Test career was the victory over England at Taunton in 2006 where Goswami claimed match figures of 10 for 78 which was followed eight years later by another win at Wormsley where Raj guided the chase home.

Impact of spin

A lot of the talking leading into the Test has been about the pace bowlers, particularly after the ball zipped around under lights in the second ODI in Mackay. There is also much excitement about the young quicks at Australia’s disposal with at least one – most likely Darcie Brown who took 4 for 33 in the first ODI – set to make a debut. However, spin could also play a key role for a number of reasons. Australia, especially, are watching the workloads of the quicks very carefully so there are likely be some overs that the spinners need to fill between spells while keeping control of the scoring rate. But they could also be wicket-takers in their own right if the ball skids and then grips later in the match. Both Georgia Wareham (quad) and Sophie Molineux (split lip) have had injuries and with Jess Jonassen unavailable they’ll be fingers crossed both can play a full role. Against England in Bristol, India had two offspinners – Deepti Sharma and Sneh Rana – and ideally need to find room for someone turning the ball the other way, most likely left-armer Rajeshwari Gayakwad.

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