Australia skipper Alyssa Healy says multi-format cricket is vital for women's red-ball Tests. Image by Brent Lewin/AAP PHOTOS
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Healy sees multi-format series as key to women’s Tests

Shayne Hope December 20, 2023

Australia captain Alyssa Healy concedes more women’s international red-ball cricket is unlikely on a busy calendar as she prepares to lead her side in a one-off Test in India.

Healy has overcome a bad finger injury to confirm her place in the historic clash at Mumbai’s Wankede Stadium, starting on Thursday.

It will be Australia’s first Test match since beating England in June and first in India since 1984.

Healy, who was earlier this month appointed the retired Meg Lanning’s replacement as Australia captain, is eager to see more women’s Test matches played.

But the star wicketkeeper-batter believes multi-format series are crucial to women being able to play the longest form of the game at international level.

Australia’s eagerly anticipated tour of India also features three ODIs and three T20s.

It follows India’s 347-run destruction of England in a one-off Test, which was preceded by three T20s this month.

“The ability to adapt and adjust to conditions over time I think is really important throughout a series and for us to get a one-off Test match – and you look at the English result as well – it’s really hard to take,” Healy told reporters on Wednesday.

“It’s kind of one where you can throw it away and say it was really hard and the conditions were difficult, but you didn’t get the chance to adjust for the next Test match and build into the series.

“I’d love to see more (Tests) played but I think the reality of that is it won’t happen.

“At the same time, I think if more and more nations around the world are interested in playing the multi-format series, I think it’s a great way to get Test cricket back relevant in our game.”

Healy missed the entire WBBL after hurting a finger in October while trying to break up a fight between her two dogs.

The 33-year-old has been given the all-clear to resume with the gloves against India but will not open the batting.

 Indian bowler Deepti Sharma is expected to provide the Australians with an acid spinning test. Image by AP PHOTO 

Instead, she will feature in the middle order in expected spin-friendly conditions, having watched star spinner Deepti Sharma claim match figures of 9-39 in India’s thrashing of England.

“The challenge of facing a lot of spin through the middle will be a really good one,” Healy said.

“I’m not too worried about it.

“I think I’ve got the ability and I’ve played long enough to be able to adapt to that and just play the role that the team needs.”

Healy did not catch a cricket ball between sustaining her freak injury and departing for India but feels well prepared for her return.

“I’ve been really impressed with how it’s come back and how it’s handled everything over here,” Healy said.

“I’ve got complete confidence in it again, so I’m looking forward to getting back into a game of cricket.”