Australia all-rounder Annabel Sutherland said the Southern Stars are "very excited" for the upcoming day-night Test against India at Carrara Oval in Queensland that starts on 30 September.
Speaking to a group of journalists, the 19-year-old cricketer said that hosts are not taking India lightly, especially in light of the just concluded ODI leg of the series. The ODIs finished with Australia winning first two games and India the third. Both teams are playing a series of matches across formats and the winner with most points in the end will take the trophy.
"Test match is an exciting opportunity for both sides. India showed that in the last two ODIs that they have a team that can fight and there was never a stage when we underestimated them. It is looking like an exciting match," she said.
India prepared for their first-ever day-night Test with a camp in Bengaluru, held before the team departed for the tour Down Under. This is Mithali Raj and Co's second Test this year, the first being against England, which was also the first Test for India in seven years.
Australia have played more Tests than India in the last few years, but the day-night Test makes it an evenly-matched contest. Southern Stars have featured in only one pink-ball Test before - in 2017.
In her post-match interview after the third ODI, Australia captain Meg Lanning had mentioned how they are not approaching the historic Test any differently from a regular T20I or ODI.
Sutherland, who also features in the Test squad, reiterated Lanning's words, saying that the Australian team works hard pre and post matches to reflect on their performance. She highlighted they're a "process-oriented" team.
"We have trained a couple of times with the pink ball. Obviously both sides have not played a lot of Test cricket. But it is not all that different from one day cricket. We are not looking to change too much. A lot of it comes down to little more patience and probably more time to play out your plans. That is something we pride ourselves on, that is working on previews and reviews for each game, so I guess it is no different for this Test match and we will continue to execute these plans."
On the topic of whether women need more Test cricket, Sutherland said, "Having this Test match included in the India series is another step towards improving the women's game. I guess it is a step at a time. At the moment, girls are ready to play any cricket. Test cricket is something we would like to play more. But T20s and ODIs hold similar standards."
Sutherland mentioned Jhulan Goswami as a threat for Aussies with her ability to move the ball both ways.
She said, " In the third ODI, we saw the opening Indian opening bowlers, especially Jhulan Goswami with her experience, she was getting the new ball to move. It is an exciting challenge. It will be interesting to see how both fast bowling attacks fare in the game with the pink ball."
India Women's Tour of Australia: Watch Indian Women's Team play their maiden pink ball D/N Test against Australia LIVE on SONY SIX (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY TEN 4 (Tamil &Telugu) channels starting 30th September 2021 to 3rd October 2021, 10:00 am IST onwards.