The Chronicle

Call for full-length Tests

Four days short-changing women’s game


CALLS for five-day women’s Test matches have grown louder after Australia’s draw against India on the Gold Coast on Sunday night.

Australian captain Meg Lanning and coach Matthew Mott said one more day of play would have garnered a result.

Mott said there were enough factors which almost demanded a move from fourday matches to five.

“The last couple of Tests we’ve lost a full day of cricket so you’re essentiall­y playing a three-day game on a surface that doesn’t have any wear and tear,” Mott said.

“If this game had gone another day, I think you would have seen a very good Test match.

“Both teams, with an extra day’s play, would have forced hard for a result. We were working the numbers on how we could possibly get there.

“We had to nullify India by getting past the follow-on, which was a huge goal for us, had we not done that it would have been all in their favour.

“In women’s cricket as well we don’t get as much wear and tear on the wicket … it’s a different game from that perspectiv­e, the spinners can’t get as much in the footmarks.

“Had there been more time in the game we definitely would have tried to set up something where both teams were chance to win and lose.”

The match was the ninth women’s Test played over the past decade and the past four have all ended in draws.

Rain interrupte­d the opening two days, robbing the game of significan­t overs. But the game was already not long enough according to one longtime cricket statistici­an.

Based on the average runs per wicket in women’s Test matches since 2000, renowned stats man Ric Finlay said the match, which was scheduled to have 100 overs for each of the four days, was always going to be “30 overs short”.

“In Aus since 2000, wickets in women’s Tests have been taken at the rate of 64.44 balls per wicket. If you want a 40wicket Test, then that requires 2578 balls – but at 600 a day for four days, we are 30 overs short – we need 4.3 days,” Finlay posted on Twitter.

The captains shook hands at the drinks break in the final session on Sunday night after first Australia, then India, declared their respective innings over early to try and manufactur­e a result.

Australia will take on England in a second Test match later in the summer, which will also be a four-day game.

The Australian players were set for Monday and Tuesday off as a “mental freshen-up” before turning their attention to the three remaining T20s which will decide the series. Game one is on Thursday.

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