‘Frustrating’: England’s Knight looks to Canberra Test after Ashes T20 washout

England captain Heather Knight has said that her side will be going all out to win the Ashes Test in Canberra, after consecutive wash-outs in the second and third T20s at Adelaide left both sides frustrated at the lack of opportunity to get early points on the board in the series.

Australia won the first match by nine wickets but the second game on Saturday was called off after 4.1 overs, while Sunday’s final T20 was abandoned without a ball being bowled. The series scoreline stands at 4-2 to Australia, and with the Test worth four points, a win is crucial to England’s hopes of regaining the Ashes.

“It’s been a very frustrating couple of days,” Knight said. “We didn’t have the chance to try and get back in the series with the two games. With Test match cricket you have to earn the right to be aggressive. It’s about getting ready mentally. We’ll sit down as a group and try and work out the best strategy to try to win us the game and take that four points. If we can get a win in the Test match, it puts us in a strong position going into the ODIs.”

Knight also spoke on how reserve days should be introduced into the Women’s Ashes schedule and repeated her call for five-day Tests.

“I’ve been pretty clear that when you play Test matches so rarely, it should be at least five days,” continued Knight. But the Test is obviously going to be four. If we lose a day to rain – or even half a day – we’ve seen how hard it is in previous Test matches to force a result.”

England’s last visit to Australia – for the T20 World Cup in 2020 – was also hit by rain, with a semi-final washout controversially ending their tournament due to a lack of contingency options in the playing conditions.

“I think reserve days in Ashes and World Cups would be very useful,” Knight said. “It would be useful if they could be worked in and potentially a five-day Test match would make things better for everyone, the players, the viewers, and make sure you don’t miss the contest that you want to see. In a hotly-contested series that might be tight, you don’t want the weather to be the main story, do you? I’d be open to looking at different things.”

Australian morale has been dented by the news that fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck will miss the remainder of the Ashes and the World Cup in New Zealand with a stress fracture in her right foot – a recurrence of the injury which kept her out of the 2020 T20 World Cup.

“It was a pretty quiet changing room when we found out the news last night,” teammate Rachael Haynes said. “We’re so disappointed for her.”

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In happier news, Australia coach Matthew Mott confirmed that Beth Mooney would be returning to the squad for the remainder of the series. Mooney, who only days ago underwent surgery to mend the fracture in her jaw, was spotted at the Adelaide Oval jogging around the outfield and has been described by Mott as looking “in good nick”.

“It’s pretty incredible,” Haynes added. “The swelling around her face has gone down quite substantially and she’s feeling really confident. She had a hit today in the nets and a run around and by all accounts she’s not in any pain. Without a doubt she’s definitely got her eye on [playing in] that Test match.”

Both teams fly to Canberra on Monday and will immediately commence preparations for the Test, which begins on Thursday.


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