Both teams have selection issues to resolve although the weather could spoil the first two days
The multi-format series stands at 4-2 after India’s streak-ending victory on Sunday. There are four points available for the Test, so should Australia win, they will take an unbeatable lead ahead of the T20I series. Matthew Mott, Australia’s head coach, has said that his side will play “one-day cricket for four days”.
In the spotlight
Ellyse Perry‘s Test record is astonishing: a batting average of 78.00 and bowling return of 18.19. Her last three Test innings have been 213*, 116 and 76*. However, the last 12 months have not been easy for her, especially with the ball, after the injury at the T20 World Cup in 2020. Last season’s tentative return could largely be put down to the recovery but, while a lack of match practice and 14 days hard quarantine made the build-up to this series difficult, her ODI returns were very unconvincing. With the strength of pace bowling coming through the Australia game, it could be that her batting becomes the central role, although never rule out a champion.
Jhulan Goswami is one of two survivors from the 2006 Adelaide Test along with Raj. With the ODI World Cup next year a likely end point for her outstanding career, this is shaping as a 12th and final Test match. She bowled superbly in the ODI series, particularly the final two matches (barring that final over with a wet ball), with her seam and swing troubling Australia’s top order. The ball to remove Alyssa Healy was a classic.
Haynes being ruled out of the series with a hamstring injury means Beth Mooney will open the batting, something she did on her Test debut in 2017. If Australia want a specialist batter to replace Haynes, they have Georgia Redmayne in the squad, but the more likely route would appear to be another allrounder. Annabel Sutherland impressed in the last ODI. At least one of Darcie Brown and Stella Campbell is expected to debut while both could play.
Australia (possible): 1 Alyssa Healy (wk), 2 Beth Mooney, 3 Meg Lanning (capt), 4 Ellyse Perry, 5 Tahlia McGrath, 6 Ash Gardner, 7 Annabel Sutherland, 8 Sophie Molineux, 9 Georgia Wareham, 10 Darcie Brown, 11 Stella Campbell
Harmanpreet has been ruled out having not recovered from her thumb injury. That could be a spot for Punam Raut, who played against England, or Yastika Bhatia after an impressive ODI series. India also need to decide on the balance of their side from one of Pooja Vastrakar or Shikha Pandey for a seam-bowling allrounder option, though Vastrakar has fared far better than Pandey with the bat this year. Taniya Bhatia is expected to regain the gloves from Richa Ghosh.
India (possible): 1 Shafali Verma, 2 Smriti Mandhana, 3 Mithali Raj (capt), 4 Punam Raut/Yastika Bhatia, 5 Deepti Sharma, 6 Sneh Rana, 7 Taniya Bhatia (wk), 8 Pooja Vastrakar/Shikha Pandey, 9 Jhulan Goswami, 10 Meghna Singh, 11 Rajeshwari Gayakwad
Pitch and conditions
Two days out there was a healthy covering of grass on the drop-in wicket although it was likely to have had a cut before the game. The weather forecast could be a problem with showers and storms forecast for the first two days.
“There’s some weather around but we are focusing on what we can control. Sounds like there’s a decent storm coming but we’ll just play with what we’ve got and hopefully, we don’t lose too much time.”
“It will be my first experience with the pink ball. I’m quite curious to see around that [night] period and they say it will be a little difficult.”
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo