Australian all-rounder, Ashleigh Gardner has picked the brain of fellow off-spinner Nathan Lyon ahead of the Women’s Ashes Test to prepare to retain the Women’s Ashes Test with their first win in the format since 2015.
Coming away from the T20 leg of the multi-format Ashes series with a 4-2 lead, following a win in game one and two washouts on Saturday and Sunday, a win for the home side can secure the Women’s Ashes for the fourth successive time.
Speaking to media at Manuka Oval on Tuesday, Gardner said it was a special feeling to experience another Test match week for the second time in the women’s international summer. A Test that Australia is “going for a result” this week after failing to win the test earlier in the summer against India.
” That Indian Test match didn’t go how we would have liked,” Gardner said.
” Everyone is really looking forward to getting stuck into this test match and going for a win”
Gardner played a key role with the ball in that October Test match against India on the Gold Coast, sending down 40 overs, more than any other player in the match.
Australia fielded a young bowling attack that outing with senior bowlers Megan Schutt and Jess Jonnasen unavailable, the attack was led by Ellyse Perry, along with Gardner with debutants Annabel Sutherland, Stella Campbell, and Darcie Brown leading the pace attack, among eight Australian bowlers used.
With both Schutt and Jonnasen back for the Ashes, Australia’s attack will look significantly different this time around regardless of how selectors chose the makeup of the final 11.
Still, Gardner will have a key role to play with the ball as the second spinner with spinning duo Georgia Wareham and Sophie Molineux both injured and unavailable for selection.
Gardner has leaned on Australia’s greatest ever off-spinner for advice on how to tackle the red ball game.
“I’ve spoken from a bowling perspective to Nathan Lyon a little bit, just to see what he does any differently (in red-ball cricket),” the star all-rounder said.
“It’s just about being able to stack up dot balls and build that pressure because that’s what brings wickets.
“Trying to bowl in partnerships.
“The best thing about this team is pretty much everyone can bowl.”
More Women’s Ashes News
Gardner will be hoping to spend time in the middle after not getting a chance to bat in the T20 leg after a disappointing WBBL leading to doubts as to whether or not she would play a part in this Ashes tour.
As the Sydney Sixers sunk to their first bottom of the table finish, Gardner had her leanest WBBL season record, only scoring 93 runs at 15.50.
“It certainly wasn’t my best Big Bash,” she said “I can openly admit that I wasn’t playing my best cricket”
“Having that time to reset and recharge after the Big Bash was instrumental. I wasn’t in a great headspace at the back and I wasn’t really sure what I was going to look like after that… Whether I was going to play WNCL or whether I was going to be up for selection for this.
“Being able to play those last two WNCL games gave me abit more confidence with the bat”
Gardner did enjoy some time in the middle in the warm-up game against Australia A, hitting 64 off 36 balls. But the allrounder is acutely aware of her role with the bat in the upcoming Test match and says she is in a good place with the bat in hand.
“I guess I can take some confidence out of that [the practice match] and also reflect on the innings I played against India in the last test match. I know it was a few months ago now but I know I can certainly watch that footage or take the confidence of what I did then and try and implement it in this game as well.”
Australia today added teen tearaway Stella Campbell to the Ashes squad for the Test match in place of the injured Tayla Vlaeminck who was ruled out of the remainder of the Ashes and upcoming Wold Cup with a stress fracture in her right foot.
The 19-year-old boasts strong recent form at Manuka Oval, having snared record figures of 7-25 in a WNCL game for New South Wales against ACT at the venue earlier this month.
“Tay is a pretty big loss,” Gardner admitted.
“But there’s plenty of bowlers that can do the same job.
“Stella was almost unplayable (against ACT)”
Beth Mooney was in the nets again and looks set to complete a remarkable recovery and take her place in the Australian eleven just nine days after jaw surgery.
Subscribe to our newsletter!