Switching between formats is difficult due to not playing much Tests: Shelley Nitschke

Sydney, Feb 11 (IANS) Ahead of the historic one-off Test against South Africa, set to happen on February 15 at the WACA Ground in Perth, Australia head coach Shelley Nitschke admitted that switching between formats does become difficult due to not playing many matches in red-ball format.

Australia will go into the four-day one-off Test match with an 8-4 advantage in the multi-format series against South Africa. Moreover, they have the advantage of playing Tests in recent times – one each against England and India in 2023 at Nottingham and Mumbai respectively.

“I really like the multi-format series … I think they work really well. They present some challenges in preparation but that’s part of it, both teams go through it. It’s actually a really difficult one when we don’t play a lot of Tests. When we went to England we spent a lot of time focusing on the red-ball format and done really well in the Test match over there but then didn’t quite hit our straps in the white ball and we were out of season at that point.

“I think we’re learning each time. We’re going to get over to Perth and get the red balls out and get the conditions. I think every time we play a Test we’re learning, and learning to be able to flick to another format is hopefully becoming easier to do. But I think there is still a challenge when you’re going across three formats with pretty much the same squad,” Shelley was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au, to reporters after the end of the third ODI.

For South Africa, the challenge is a little tougher as they last played a Test match in 2022, against England at Taunton. Though captain Laura Wolvaardt said the team invested in an intense red-ball practice time at a training camp before leaving for Australia, she admitted they will need to adapt to conditions quickly at Perth.

“It’s obviously difficult playing a Test match without playing much domestic red-ball stuff. I think we’re going to do a crash course in the next few days. I love Test cricket – it’s the purest form of the game and something that I think would suit my game as well and that I haven’t really gotten the chance to play a lot of,” she said.

At the same time, Laura is elated about playing Test cricket and is eager to see how her fast-bowlers fare at a pace-friendly WACA Ground. “I’m personally very, very excited for it and hope to play more of it in the future. (They bring) just a very cool young energy and I think they’re bowling nice and quick as well, getting good carry out there today.

“Very exciting – I think they’ll definitely be options for the Test match, I think we’ll definitely be looking into that. I’ve played (at the WACA) once or twice, (it’s been) pretty bouncy when I’ve been there. But we have a very exciting pace attack so hopefully we can use that to our advantage as well,” said Laura.



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