India captain Harmanpreet Kaur wants the hosts to play with the same energy and intensity which they displayed against England, when they take the field in the one-off women’s Test versus Australia starting on Thursday. India thrashed England by a record 347-run margin in the lone Test at the DY Patil Stadium to record the biggest win for any side in terms of runs and will now look to register their maiden Test win over Australia. India have never beaten Australia in 10 Tests and the contest will definitely challenge them in terms of fitness and temperament, given they are playing back-to-back matches. “The way we played the first Test (of the season), we want to carry the same energy into this one. It is very exciting, knowing Australia is such a good team and everyone wants to beat them,” Kaur told reporters after India’s training session on Wednesday.

Australia will be without Meg Lanning who has retired from international cricket recently, and in her place Alyssa Healy will lead the side.

Kaur said Lanning’s absence will not make much difference as Australia have a strong side.

“They have a balanced side and everyone has experience of all formats. We can’t say Meg (Lanning) is not there and take them lightly. We just need to think what best we can do rather than thinking about how good they are,” she said.

The India skipper said while the prospect of playing Test cricket excites her side, it has been slightly challenging to manage the players’ workload. “When you are playing back-to-back Tests, it is important to recover and feel fresh. When you bat and bowl for three days – the likes of Deepti (Sharma), Pooja (Vastrakar) who didn’t get enough rest – we try to take care of their loads,” Kaur said.

“They need to feel ready for the game and we made them train accordingly. The ones who had lesser loads we pushed them hard in the nets to feel more confident.

“The more we feel fresh, the better it will be for us, because there is hardly (any) time to prepare. If there was a 10-12 day (break), you can take 2-3 days off and again prepare yourself. We were lucky we had fourth day off (against England) and then just one day off. We tried to recover in that.” While the pitch at the DY Patil Stadium turned out to be a slow turner, there is plenty of grass on offer at the Wankhede Stadium strip.

“Maybe in the evening we will have a fair idea of how the wicket will look like. I have 13 players in my mind who are going to play, in the evening we will have a final call,” Kaur said.

Kaur said the experience of playing against Australia and also in competitions like Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) would be beneficial for India. “We have played a lot of cricket against Australia. We know their weaknesses, we will sit and discuss our game plan accordingly,” she said.

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