Alyssa Healy is determined for Australia to beat South Africa rather than draw the Perth Test. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS
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Australia will risk losing to win Perth Test: Healy

Murray Wenzel February 14, 2024

Alyssa Healy has boldly declared she’s willing to risk losing the WACA Test against South Africa in an attempt to win it, with the Australian captain admittedly sick of draws in the rarely contested format.

Thursday’s Test at the fabled Perth venue will incredibly be the first between the two traditional cricket powerhouses.

The Proteas have only played 13 since 1960, winning just once, while Australia have contested 78 since 1934.

Australia have won 21 of those, suffered 11 losses and drew 46 times – an ongoing frustration of a side that’s long dominated T20 and 50-over cricket.

The wicketkeeper admitted there was a sense of romance ahead of a red-ball return to the WACA, but there was only one thing on her mind ahead of the series finale.

“Last time there was a Test match here there was a result and that’s probably all we’re really after with the women’s game,” Healy said, referring to England’s 61-run victory in 2014.

“What are the best conditions to get a result? Whether it’s four days, five days or a wicket conducive to spin.

“We’re not really sure just yet, but it feels nice to be here and to be able to run out tomorrow in whites and baggy green, because it’s an iconic place to play Test cricket.”

“To be here at the WACA … in a Test match. It feels right, it feels really cool.”

South Africa’s women had never beaten Australian in any format before arriving for this series and now boast victories in both 20 and 50-over formats.

Healy, who will bat in the middle order, said she was willing to risk defeat if it meant there was a greater chance of her own side finishing the series at victors.

“I want to see a result in this Test match … if we’re in a position where we want to go for the win and it might com at a cost then so be it,” she said.

“We want to see a result, hopefully we’re on the right end of it.”

Perth has baked this week and ground staff have pumped the square with water, leaving uncertainty around the conditions ahead of Thursday’s first ball.

Healy said they were yet to finalise their playing XI but is hopeful four days will be adequate.

“I think so; gut feel suggests we can get a result,” she said.

“”It’ll be tricky early on, but flatten out and be a beautiful batting wicket.

“Whatever we do first tomorrow we’ll have to work hard but hopefully find ourselves on top of a battle.”