Australia’s preparations for their women’s multi-format tour of India have been thrown askew with the hosts opting against turning their sole Test into a day-night affair.
Australia will tour India for their first multi-format series in December and January, with the Test in Mumbai followed by three ODIs and three T20s.
Australian officials had been led to believe as early as September the Test would be a day-night match, making for the first of its kind for women’s cricket in India.
As a result Australian players had begun preparing for the match by using pink balls in the nets during their most recent limited-overs series against the West Indies.
Indian officials, however, confirmed the schedule for the summer on Friday evening with the Test to start at 9.30am each day in Mumbai.
It will be held at the 33,000-seat Wankhede Stadium from December 21, ending on Christmas Eve.
The match will be a four-day fixture after the addition of a fifth day in the most recent Ashes Test between Australia and England broke a long run of draws in women’s Tests.
The ODIs between Australia and India will follow at Wankhede Stadium on December 28, 30 and January 2, before the T20s are played on January 5, 7 and 9 at the 55,000-seat DY Patil Stadium also in Mumbai.
There had been a thought a day-night Test could play into Australia’s hands, especially if seam and swing had become a bigger factor than spin under lights.
While Australia arguably have a stronger spin attack with the likes of Alana King, Jess Jonassen and Ashleigh Gardner, none of the team’s batters have played a Test on a wearing Indian wicket previously.
Instead, the decision will now put a bigger onus on King, Jonassen and Gardner to stand up, with the latter taking 8-66 in the fourth innings against England in June.
Australia and India have played a day-night Test previously on the Gold Coast in 2021, with the match a rain-marred draw.
Australia’s men had faced a similar situation on their most recent Test tour of India earlier this year when a day-night fixture was expected to be played in Ahmedabad before it went ahead as a red-ball game.
AUSTRALIA WOMEN’S TOUR OF INDIA
Test: December 21-24, Wankhede Stadium
First ODI: December 28, Wankhede Stadium (D/N)
Second ODI: December 30, Wankhede Stadium (D/N)
Third ODI: January 2, Wankhede Stadium (D/N)
First T20: January 5, DY Patil Stadium (N)
Second T20: January 7, DY Patil Stadium (N)
Thrd T20: January 9, DY Patil Stadium (N)