One Ashes campaign has had disastrous results, but Australia’s women’s cricketers are bullish about regaining their equivalent trophy.
They head into the one-off four-day Test on Tuesday with a 4-2 points advantage after a 2-1 win in the three-match one-day component of the multi-format series.
A win in the Test at Canterbury will be worth four points, double the value of the ODI games and three T20 matches to come.
The value of the Test has been reduced from six points and vice-captain Alex Blackwell, who will become the first Australian female cricketer to represent her country 200 times across all formats, believes that will encourage the teams to gamble more.
“It creates an interesting dynamic because England who are two points behind have a real incentive to try and get in front and play a positive Test match,” Blackwell told AAP.
“We also have that incentive. We desperately want to win and we can risk losing to go out and try and win it because the weight of the points is not as great.”
English fans buoyed by their men regaining the Ashes haven’t been backward in reminding Blackwell and her teammates of that fact.
“When people become aware of who we are they like to remind us where things are at with the men’s game,” Blackwell said.
“But we’re just solely focused on our performances now and we’re in a really good position. so we’re going to give it our best to bring home the Ashes.”
She said the team was playing well with the batting exceptionally strong and four players having recently scored a century.
“I think the batters have great confidence and the key is really making sure we’re really disciplined with the ball and don’t let the pressure off through four-balls,” Blackwell said.
“We want to make sure that we’re making England make decisions every time they face up and hopefully we can grind them down through a real quality effort, through disciplined bowling.”
She thought captain Meg Lanning and coach Matthew Mott faced tough selection choices for the Test, having to decide whether to go with all three spinners or an extra seamer.
Blackwell’s tally of 10 Tests, nine of them against England, have been spread over 12 years and she would to like to see Test cricket played more frequently and against more nations.
*TESTS: 10 (2003-2014):
*RUNS: 384 – average 21.33, 50s 4, highest score 74
*ODIS:: 116 (2003-2015)
*RUNS 2697 – average 33.29, 100S 2, 50s 19, highest score 106 not
*T20S: 73 (2005-2014)
*RUNS 1027 – average 19.75, 50s 1, highest score 61