Pink-ball Test 'pretty foreign' to Aussies as well: Beth Mooney

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Sydney, Aug 31 (IANS) Australian wicketkeeper-batter Beth Mooney has said that the one-off pink-ball Test against the Mithali Raj-led Indian women’s side is “pretty foreign” to even the home team players and that the key to doing well lies in “to get as much of that sort of format into our game as well”.

India’s multi-format series Down Under will see them play seven matches — three ODIs, a one-off pink-ball Test followed by three T20I games. The ODI series, which was scheduled to start on September 19, has been pushed back to September 21 owing to difficulties arising due to the stringent COVID-19 protocols in Australia.

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The Test will be played at the Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast after India’s entire tour was moved to Queensland due to the pandemic.

“I’ve had a couple of opportunities under the lights to face the pink ball and been really tested. It’s something pretty foreign to us as a group and it’s really important that we try and get as much of that sort of format into our game as well,” the 27-year-old Mooney was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo on Monday.

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“I shouldn’t rub it in too much to the southern states but being from Queensland, I’ve been out in the sunshine and fortunately been able to train at the new facility at Norths under lights and had an opportunity to face the pink ball. The Test match is a day-night Test and that poses a different challenge to one that we’re normally used to,” said Mooney, who has played two Tests and scored 103 runs in three innings, with the highest being 51.

“But at the end of the day it’s still about a bat and a ball and a cricket match so hopefully the skills that we’ve developed over a long period of time in T20 and one-day cricket really help transfer that into the Test.”

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Mooney added that Metricon Stadium wicket should provide ideal “pace and bounce” to Aussie fast bowlers like WACA, where the Test was initially scheduled.

“The WACA [would have] offered a little bit of assistance for our young quicks in Tayla, Darcie, Pez, Maitlan Brown,” Mooney said. “We’re really lucky that Metricon are putting up the drop-in wickets now for us to get prepped for that Test. There hasn’t been any cricket played on that wicket so I expect it to be a really great four days and really competitive Test cricket will be seen on that wicket, and it’s a great outfield as well.

“From all reports with the ground staff, and speaking to people that have played on the wicket, I think we’re playing on it at the right time of the year and hopefully we can get a big crowd out to watch hopefully a spectacle of women’s Test cricket,” she said.

–IANS

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