Meg Lanning batting during Australia's last Women's Test vs England at Taunton. Image: Peter Cziborra

Australian captain Meg Lanning can't wait to pull on the baggy green this summer and has joined the push for women's domestic first-class cricket and for more Women's test matches to be included on the International and domestic schedule.

Australian captain Meg Lanning can’t wait to pull on the baggy green this summer and has joined the push for women’s domestic first-class cricket and for more Women’s test matches to be included on the International and domestic schedule.

The Summer of 2021/22 promises to be the biggest Women’s Cricket summer Australia has ever seen. With India due to arrive shortly for a multi-format series, the Rebel WBBL and The Ashes before a 50 over World Cup in New Zealand in March and April.

The Multi-format series’ which includes Test matches will mean that Australia’s women will play 2 test matches on home soil this summer, against India at the WACA in a Day-Night Test and against England at Manuka Oval.

Such is the rarity of Test matches on the women’s cricket schedule, Lanning has only played the 4 Tests across her career. Only one of those Tests has been in Australia way back in 2013.

Lanning missed the last Women’s Test played in Australia during the 2017 Women’s Ashes as she was recovering from a shoulder injury at the time.

But fully fit and ready to attack another international summer, the thirst and want for more long-form cricket in the women’s game remains high. For all girls who play cricket, getting the opportunity to pull on the Baggy Green means so much to Lanning and her teammates.

“It’s something we’re all looking forward to,” Lanning told media on Wednesday.

“One test every two years has sort of been the process over the last five years or so to be able to play two tests in one summer at home, against very good opposition is something we’re all looking forward to and extremely excited about.

” Hopefully we get to play at the venues they are slated to be played at. I think the WACA is an excellent venue for womens test cricket.

“It’s a great sign for the game”.

With so little test cricket in the women’s calendar, it can be challenging for players to determine how much time and energy they put into preparing for the long format. The placement of the Test Match in the multi-format series has always been a big question and debate due to the points allocation that comes from the 4-day match.

In the series against India, the Test Match will take place after the One Day matches kick off the series. Whereas in the Ashes in late January, the Test Match will kick off the multi-format series there.

Lanning alluded to her different training methods and how the mindset among the playing cohort would change in their training programs and method if there was more red-ball cricket in the international and domestic women’s schedule.

“This pre-season, I’ve been doing a little bit of block training. You put time aside where you are specifically facing the pink ball, which is that obvious first difference. But just working on what the game plan is going to be” she said

“It’s very difficult to change how you play, especially when you have done it for so long, and tried to make that work so I won’t be trying to change too much.

“But you’ve obviously got a lot more time and you don’t need to perhaps push things as much as you do in the shorter formats. I think that’s a general thing from the batters especially. Trying to play as naturally as you can and adapting slightly to what the time limits are”

“The more we play, the better we’ll get.

“That’s why it’s so good that we’ve got 2 tests this summer too hopefully show how good the format is and what we can do in it”

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Australia will meet India for the first time since the famous T20 World Cup final in front of 86,174 people at the MCG back in March 2020.

India will arrive in Australis fresh off a series in the UK and many of their players fresh off a stint in The Hundred competition but Lanning and her team are just looking forward to playing some cricket against some quality opposition.

“It’s going to be a great challenge coming up,” she said

“We’ve played them in some really big games over the past few years. They’ve shown they have got some world-class players and they’re certainly very competitive”

“They’ve been playing abit of cricket in the UK recently so they are going to be match hardened and we’re going to need to be on our game right from the start of the series which is something we are looking to do”.

“It’s the biggest summer we’ve had. Three extremely big series and tournaments and then the Comm [Commonwealth] Games at the end of it, it’s an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often and might not come around again in the time that I’m playing, so, I can’t wait to get started.

Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Maitlan Brown, Stella Campbell, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Georgia Redmayne, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham

*Schedule is subject to change pending quarantine and border requirements

Sep 19: First ODI, North Sydney Oval (D/N)

Sep 22: Second ODI, Junction Oval

Sep 24: Third ODI, Junction Oval

Sep 30 – Oct 3: Test match, WACA Ground (D/N)

Oct 7: First T20, North Sydney Oval

Oct 9: Second T20, North Sydney Oval

Oct 11: Third T20, North Sydney Oval

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