New balls please: Aussies get first look at 'different' SG pill

Thirteen members of Australia's squad hit the track in Mumbai ahead of their drought-breaking Test against India next week

As India's spinners wreaked havoc against England across town on Friday, Australia's tweakers were taking their first look at the red balls they will use in next week's drought-breaking Test in Mumbai.

The Australian squad, who landed in Mumbai on Wednesday evening, had their first hit out of the tour in the form of a light training session at Wankhede Stadium on Friday morning.

There, they were able to get their hands on the women's Test-sized SG ball, that will be used in the one-off four-day game beginning December 21, for the first time.

"We've never played with them, this is the first time we're bowling with one, so it's a little bit different to what we're used to," King told on Friday. 

"We couldn't get our hands on (the balls) any earlier, so there's nothing like right now and doing it in India.

King sends one down with the SG ball at training on Friday //

"It's slightly smaller (than a Kookaburra), it's in between a Kookaburra and a Dukes.

"It's all about adapting and trying to enjoy it as much as we can.

"We're pretty excited and it's just about trying to see what works for us and what's going to be really good for the Test match."

Initially, this one-off Test was mooted as a day-night affair, and the Aussies began early preparations with a pink ball during their early October ODIs against West Indies.

Aussie captain Alyssa Healy faces up at training on Friday //

The match was then confirmed as a red-ball, daytime game when the schedule was released in late October, and the Aussies built up their loads during the WBBL with the Kookaburra balls that were available to them at home.

There has been scant need for the women's sized SG balls in the last decade – prior to the ongoing Test against England, India's last home Test was against South Africa in 2014. 

None of the current Australian squad were even born the last time the country's women played a Test in India in 1984, and a new ball is just one challenge they will have to contend with, and their ability to quickly acclimatise and adapt to the conditions will be critical over the coming weeks.

In good signs for the tourists, newly named full-time captain Alyssa Healy headed straight into the nets for a hit on Friday before working on her wicketkeeping, as she continues her return from the dog bite that ended her WBBL season.

Thirteen members of Australia's 16-player touring party are in Mumbai, with allrounder Heather Graham to arrive later this week after playing a pair of domestic one-day games for Tasmania on Tuesday and Thursday.

Megan Schutt – who admitted earlier this year her career in the longest format is likely over – will arrive on the eve of the Test to start preparing for the white-ball formats, while Grace Harris, who is only part of the T20I squad, will join the group after Christmas. 

The Australians will have an intensive five-hour training session on Saturday, before they play a Mumbai XI in a 50-over-a-side red-ball practice game at Wankhede on Sunday, as part of their build-up to day one of the Test next Thursday.

The Australians arrive at Mumbai's famous Wankhede Stadium for training on Friday //

"The first training session was pretty light, just to get the juices flowing for us ... we've got some pretty big training sessions coming up," King said. 

"We're trying to make these big days, big enough, so we're ready for the Test. 

"It's just more time on feet that we're trying to accomplish, so big days, but I think we're all looking forward to it.

"(The practice game) is going to be pretty interesting, but I think it's more so just getting an SG ball in our hand."

Australia's multi-format tour of India

December 21-24: Test match, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

December 28: First ODI, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

December 30: Second ODI, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

January 2: Third ODI, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

January 5: First T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai

January 7: Second T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai

January 9: Third T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai

Australia squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Lauren Cheatle (Test only), Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris (T20s only), Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

India Test squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Shubha Satheesh, Harleen Deol, Saika Ishaque, Renuka Singh Thakur, Titas Sadhu, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Pooja Vastrakar