Women's Ashes ODIs
Aussies must train smart ahead of rare Test: Mott
With Australia's women playing red-ball cricket just once every two years, head coach Matthew Mott wants his side recharged coming into the Ashes Test
Laura Jolly in Marlborough
11 July 2019, 05:53 AM AEST
When preparing for an unfamiliar task in a limited time-frame, there can be a temptation to dedicate every waking moment to studying and formulating plans.
It’s a position the Australian women’s cricket team currently find themselves in, with the sole Test of the multi-format Ashes just one week away.
Test match cricket is format they play just once every two years. For six members of the 15-player squad, it’s a format they’ve never played at all.
But rather than succumbing to the temptation to over-prepare for the red-ball game and extend every possible training session to the limit – or, to ‘cram’ for the Test – the Australian squad were given the day off on Wednesday to refresh and ready themselves for a three-day warm-up game beginning Thursday.
For coach Matthew Mott, training smarter and prioritising quality over quantity will key over the coming week.
"The Test is a long way off in terms of what we’ve been through, we’ve had three highly charged (ODIs) first up and on a tour like this, you can’t be on the whole time," Mott said.
"You need to pick periods to where you need some downtime and refresh.
"So a day where they’re not thinking about cricket will be good, a few went to Wimbledon and a few might play golf, it’s a day to recharge."
It’s also reward for Australia’s stunning start to the seven-game, multi-format series, which saw them win all three matches of the ODI leg to take an early 6-0 lead over England.
A draw in the Test will be enough to ensure Australia retain the Ashes, while England must win the Test and all three T20Is if they’re to reclaim the trophy.
"We got a lot out of the last three games and in a way, it’s almost like we’ve earnt the opportunity to have a day off,” Mott said.
"It doesn’t mean we’re taking the foot off, but we’ve earnt the opportunity because we’ve got three solid games in, if we’d got a washout and if we didn’t have access to nets during the (warm-up) game it would have looked different as well."
Australia will play a strong England Academy team – a virtual England A side – in a three-day warm-up at the prestigious Marlborough College from Thursday.
There, they’ll seek to answer key questions around the make-up of their best Test XI and the stakes will be particularly high for the allrounders and bowlers with spots up for grabs.
Access to extra nets at the college also mean any batters who miss out in the middle will have plenty of time for extended training sessions throughout the three days.
"We’ve got a lot of hard questions to ask ourselves and it is a big game for a few players to show us what they’ve got," Mott said.
"The balance of the team will be interesting to see what we go with, we’re very keen to win the Test, we don’t want to go in with an attitude of drawing it, so we need a team capable of taking 20 wickets.
"We’re really excited so see what this three-day game will throw up, because that will help strengthen our final XI."
Live scores from the match will be available on cricket.com.au and the CA Live App, alongside all the latest news and highlights from the ground.
CommBank Ashes Tour of England
Australia lead England 6-0
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
England ODI squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Jenny Gunn, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danni Wyatt
July 2: Australia won by two wickets
July 4: Australia won by four wickets
July 7: Australia won by 194 runs
July 11-13: England Academy v Australia, Marlborough College, Swindon
July 18-21: Only Test, The County Ground, Taunton
July 26: First T20, County Ground, Chelmsford
July 28: Second T20, The County Ground, Hove
A Test victory is worth four points (two each for a draw), two points are awarded for ODI and T20 wins