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"Matter of how quickly that pitch deteriorates" - Australia coach on India's spin challenge

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Last updated on 18 Dec 2023 | 10:50 AM
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"Matter of how quickly that pitch deteriorates" - Australia coach on India's spin challenge

Last week, India played a Test against England at DY Patil Stadium and their spinners took 13 wickets in the game

Australia Women’s head coach Shelley Nitschke knows that the Wankhede surface for the one-off Test against India, starting December 21, will deteriorate and turn but doesn’t want her team to look too far ahead and complicate things for themselves.

Last week, India played a Test against England at DY Patil Stadium and their spinners took 13 wickets in the game. England could only manage totals of 136 and 131 and lost the game by 347 runs. And Nitschke is expecting the Wankhede surface to behave similarly.

“It's a tough one to prepare for. The girls are coming off the back of a WBBL, and looks like we are going to get some really traditional subcontinent conditions but it's also really exciting. Think everyone is just embracing the challenge. We are just doing whatever we can to prepare,” said Nitschke.

"Think it will just be a matter of how quickly that pitch deteriorates. It's a matter of adapting on the run and not getting too far ahead of ourselves, thinking that it will do something. We are trying not to read too much into it, but we certainly know what way it could go but it will be interesting how much it does change across the four days."

Alyssa Healy is on track to captain Australia in her first game as full-time skipper. The wicketkeeper-batter, who is recovering from a finger injury caused by a dog bite, will also keep wickets. Nitschke, however, is yet to finalise the XI. 

Australia have four spinners - Ashleigh Gardner, Jess Jonassen, Alana King and Georgia Wareham - in their set-up and they could play all of them if they like, thanks to having three pace-bowling allrounders batting in their top six in Annabel Sutherland, Tahlia McGrath and Ellyse Perry.

"Everything is looking really positive, so fingers crossed it keeps going that way over the next three or four days. Unless there's some significant change think Midge (Healy) will be leading at the first day of the Test,” said Nitschke.

"We've certainly got a lot of options. We've got a number of allrounders and I think the squad that we've got here to select from gives us plenty of options. We're not really clear on where that's going to land at the moment but we certainly have some decisions to make."

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