Awaiting both England and India, Australian captain Meg Lanning hopes the summer's action will open the door for more red ball cricket in the coming years.
On top of hosting the Ashes against England, Australia's Women will take on India in a Test match for the first time in fifteen years, as part of a multi-format series with three T20Is and three ODIs.
For the skipper, all eyes in the cricketing world will be on Australia, and the playing group is eager to host two of the biggest teams in the world in their backyard.
“I know everyone’s really excited to be playing in two Test matches this summer," she said.
“The hunger is certainly there to play more Test matches and the excitement levels within the playing group are very high at the moment.”
The Indian team are currently preparing for three T20Is on their tour of England, having already shared the spoils with their hosts in the Test match and won one of the three ODIs. Asked to follow on in the Test match, a confident second innings by India's batting group, headlined by Sneh Rana's unbeaten 80 at number eight, curtailed England's chances of victory.
Watching on from home, the twists and turns of the Test showed Lanning the strength of both teams, and she knows preparation will be key to holding firm this summer.
"There'll be some practice games in there, whether that's intra-squad or we bring some players in to play against, but no doubt we'll be doing that. I think it's an important part of the preparation just to get the tempo right in terms of playing the longer format."
Australia won the Test match at Adelaide Oval against India by an innings and four runs back in February 2006, with this year's fixture to take place at the WACA in Perth. For Lanning, India accepting the Australian challenge will only fuel the fire of the women's international game, and she hopes to take guard in Test cricket on a tour of the subcontinent down the line.
“It’s really exciting that they’ve agreed to play in a Test match and they’re very willing to do it having played England as well.
“I think it’s only going to move the game forward and increase the awareness of the game both here and in India as well which I think is a really important part of it.
“Personally I’d love to play a Test match in India. I think that would be a great test and a really good challenge and something I’d love to happen in the not too distant future. Hopefully, this Test match being part of the series against them is not just a one-off, hopefully, it’s the start of something that will continue into the future as well.”
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