Aussie bowlers will take Ashes red-ball lesson to India

The recent women's Ashes series taught Australia not to place undue emphasis on preparations for the one-off Test in India, allrounder Ellyse Perry says.

ELLYSE PERRY.
ELLYSE PERRY. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Underwhelming white-ball results during the women's Ashes have taught Australia not to place undue emphasis on Test preparations for the multi-format tour of India.

Shortly after the WBBL finishes on Saturday, Australia's women's side will fly to the subcontinent for a series that begins with a stand-alone Test match from December 21.

Despite a hectic 12 months, the Test will be only Australia's second of the year - and even that is an increase on regular programming.

Not since 2005 has Australia's women's side played two Test matches in a calendar year.

"For us to play two this year, it's been a long time since we've done that. It's absolutely awesome," allrounder Ellyse Perry said.

The less-familiar challenges of Test cricket led Australia to place particular focus on preparing for the one-off match against England that kicked off the Ashes in June.

It paid dividends, with Ash Gardner leading Australia to an 89-run victory in Nottingham.

But despite being the top-ranked one-day international and Twenty20 nation in the world at the time, Australia went on to lose each of the white-ball legs 2-1.

The format of the India series is similar, with three-match ODI and T20I series to follow the Test.

Given the tight turnaround between the WBBL and the India series, Australia's bowlers have been taking on extra work after their domestic games to ensure they are ready.

But Perry limited her red-ball preparation throughout the WBBL, from which her Sydney Sixers were eliminated on Sunday.

"One of the big things we learned from the Ashes is actually not focusing too much on the Test match," she said.

"It's a vital piece of the series but there's also another six limited overs games, either ODI or T20I. It's just finding that balance."

Allrounder Tahlia McGrath has found it challenging to keep one eye on the tour while captaining the Adelaide Strikers, who will host Saturday's WBBL final.

"It's been tough," she said of the juggling act.

"There's been a lot of bowling my loads after the game, there's been a lot of making sure I've got the right metres and gym sessions under my belt.

"Playing a Test match in Indian conditions is something that doesn't come around too often and I'm really excited for it.

"It's about putting in the work now, all the Aussie girls have been doing the same, so our bodies are right to get us through a pretty busy schedule in India."

Coach Shelley Nitschke has yet to name Australia's captain for the series following Meg Lanning's retirement from international cricket earlier this month.

Wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy led the side for the majority of Lanning's absences that preceded her retirement and is the favourite to take over.

McGrath has twice filled in herself, once when Healy went down injured during the T20I leg of last year's visit to India, and again during the tour of Ireland in July.

"There's about four or five people that could do the job so we're spoilt for choice," McGrath said.

"No matter who gets the job, we're in safe hands."