‘So used to seeing us winning’: Healy denies Aussie era ending after India loss, calls for more Tests


Alyssa Healy has rejected any suggestion Australia’s stranglehold on international women’s cricket is slipping, saying their Test loss to India is barely a blip on the team’s record.

Australia stumbled to their first Test defeat to India by eight wickets in Mumbai on Sunday, after being outplayed by the hosts in foreign spinning conditions.

The loss comes after one of the more difficult periods for the Australian side in the past six years, with the retirements of Meg Lanning and Rachael Haynes.

After winning their fourth straight global ICC event earlier this year in the 50-over World Cup, Australia retained the Ashes via a drawn multi-format series in England in July.

That tour included losing four of six white-ball matches, with Australia’s win in the Test enough to have them level on points with England and hold onto the trophy.

The current tour of India is not a multi-format series, but the defeat in the one-off Test marks Australia’s first loss in a four-day game since January 2014.

But quizzed over whether the defeat suggested Australia’s unprecedented period of dominance was ending, Healy was defiant.

“It’s probably not even a blip,” Healy said. 

“It (Test cricket) is a format where we’re not overly familiar with, in conditions that we’re not familiar with. 

“I see more positives out of this and than any sort of negativity. 

“There is always a lot of expectation and external noise about our team and how we’re performing. 

“They are so used to seeing us winning, that I think, at times, they forget that we’ve actually seen quite a lot of change over the last 12 to 18 months. 

“That kind of goes unnoticed external to our group.”

Australia have spoken about shifting their mindset in white-ball cricket after the losses in England, pursuing a more attacking approach.

Three looming ODIs against India in the next week and three ensuing T20s will be the first showing of that, with the hosts also a rising force in the white-ball game.

“Within our group we’re really comfortable with where we’re at, and the progression we’re on,” Healy said.

“Ultimately there’s a big T20 World Cup in Bangladesh towards the end of next year, that is a real carrot for us. 

“These are the sort of big trophies that we’re wanting to win. 

Tahlia McGrath and Alyssa Healy. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

“And yes, every series in between now and then is important, but at the same time we’re building towards that World Cup. 

“Maybe you can ask me that (supremacy) question at the end of the six white-ball games to see how we’re going and we can answer that.

“These next six games will probably give us a better indication about how we’re tracking but also what we might need to improve on.”

Healy called for Australia’s Test series in India to be extended to three matches their loss, their first in 11 Tests against India.

The hosts easily chased down 75 in the fourth innings on Sunday.

All out for 209 in their first innings, Australia looked far more confident in their second effort of 261 despite the wicket showing more signs of wear.

And Healy believes three-Test tours of India would provide a better match-up between the two sides.

“It would create a real contest over three games,” Healy said.

“That would be an unbelievable experience for our group, and probably a true test of of both sides’ abilities. 

“The one-off Test, India playing in their home conditions, you’d expect them to be heavy favourites. 

“But the way we tried to adapt and continue to learn throughout the four days was really impressive.

“We would love to have another crack at it, show what we learned and put it into practice.”

Healy is realistic in conceding her wish is unlikely to be granted.

The last women’s Test series of more than one match was way back in 2006, while India had not hosted any red-ball cricket for nine years before this summer.

“The nature of the female game at the moment is it’s very white-ball dominant,” Healy said. 

“Trying to fit it all in to the calendar and fitting all the white-ball games in seems to take precedence. 

“But you take three one-day games out, and we could probably play two more Test matches.”

Australia’s captain is also insistent this Test should have formed part of a multi-format series, in the same way most top-tier women’s tours are now conducted.

While one Test, three ODIs and three T20s will be played, each are individual contests rather than an overarching series in the same way the Ashes is decided.

Australia had taken the trophy used from the multi-format 2021-22 series against India to be contested, only to be told by authorities that system would not be used.

“I sit here disappointed that we couldn’t win the Test match,” Healy said. 

“But at the end of the day, we weren’t necessarily playing for points, we weren’t playing for overall series points for a trophy. 

“It does make it a little bit of a novelty in a sense.

“The fact that it sort of feels meaningless to a sense is really disappointing to me. But in saying that we are disappointed that we couldn’t get ourselves over the line.”

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