Shepparton News

HEALY WANTS MORE TESTS FOR WOMEN

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Alyssa Healy hopes this summer proves another seminal moment for women’s cricket, having waited her entire career to play a nonAshes Test.

Australia and India, who clashed in front of an MCG crowd of 86,174 in the T20 World Cup final last year, start their multi-format series on Tuesday with the first of three ODIs in Mackay.

The rivals, having gone almost 16 years without playing a Test against each other, then square off in a day-night Test on the Gold Coast.

India’s powerful board often sets the agenda throughout world cricket, underlinin­g the significan­ce of this year’s reinvigora­ted support of women’s Tests that also included a red-ball match in England.

Healy, having represente­d Australia in 201 games, but only four of them Tests, is buoyed.

The wicketkeep­er-batter admits it is a ‘‘pipe dream’’ to think her side could play a Test each home summer. but she will continue to actively push for it.

‘‘There’s no way I thought we’d ever play two Tests in a summer,’’ Healy said at Fox Cricket’s series launch.

‘‘Test matches are so much more special for us simply because we don’t play a lot of them and it is the pinnacle.

‘‘It’s great that the conversati­ons are being had and we’d love to see a few more nations.

‘‘The boys have designated Test match timeslots every summer. I look at the Boxing Day Test.

‘‘I would love to see the same thing happen for us every summer.

‘‘Imagine November 1, Australia are (always) playing a pink-ball Test at North Sydney Oval against whatever the opposition might be.’’

Healy was likewise upbeat that a Test in India could be on the cards soon.

Lockdowns and state border closures mean the Australian­s, prior to training in Brisbane this week, haven’t come together as a squad since returning from New Zealand in April.

Australia’s most pressing challenge is extending its record 24-game winning streak in ODIs, but it has also started preparatio­ns for the day-night Test.

‘‘Fresh out of quarantine and the first net session we had was on a green, seaming wicket at Norths with the pink ball,’’ Healy said.

‘‘Wasn’t good for the morale of the batters.’’

Healy, who earned player-ofthe-match honours in the T20 World Cup final with a stunning knock of 75, wants to replicate Rohit Sharma’s approach to transferri­ng limited-overs skills to the Test arena.

‘‘He is one of the most devastatin­g white-ball batters in the world and yet he’s a really successful opener in Test cricket,’’ Healy said.

 ?? Picture: AAP ?? That’s it: Alyssa Healy wants permanent Test matches on calendar.
Picture: AAP That’s it: Alyssa Healy wants permanent Test matches on calendar.

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