Australia hunt win in rare women's Test
Ashleigh Gardner has picked the brain of fellow offspinner Nathan Lyon as Australia prepare to attack in their quest to retain the women's Ashes with victory in the one-off Test.
Australia, who have added teenage tearaway Stella Campbell to their squad ahead of the Test beginning in Canberra on Thursday, will claim an unassailable 8-2 lead if they win this week.
Docile pitches, coupled with a lack of red-ball cricket at domestic level and the fact women's Tests are played over four days rather than five, have made it hard to manufacture a result in recent Tests.
Meg Lanning's side haven't won a Test since 2015, a sample size that includes just two Ashes draws and this summer's landmark clash with India that was also drawn.
"We don't play a lot of it," Gardner told reporters in Canberra.
"In comparison to the men, who have five-Test series and obviously ... get to play the Sheffield Shield.
"So you only really get exposed to long-format cricket when you play for Australia.
"It's hard to kind of know how to go into it. All the chats that we've had so far are about taking those 20 wickets.
"Trying to bowl attacking lines for as long as possible ... and obviously still playing that positive way with the bat as well."
Australia's attack will be significantly different to that which captured 11 wickets in the Test against India at Metricon Stadium, no matter what selectors decide.
Spinners Sophie Molineux and Georgia Wareham are enforced omissions because of injuries, while left-arm tweaker Jess Jonassen and fast bowler Megan Schutt both missed the match against India.
Gardner delivered 40 overs against India, more than any other player in that Test.
"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 allrounder 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."
Campbell's call-up comes as a result of fellow speedster Tayla Vlaeminck's foot injury.
The 19-year-old boasts strong recent form at Manuka Oval, having snared record figures of 7-25 in a domestic one-dayer 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).
"Megan Schutt is a genuine swing bowler, she could rattle the top of England's order."
England fast bowler Kate Cross is confident Australian conditions will decrease the chance of another draw.
"The quicker pitches generally help," Cross said.
"I know having played here at Manuka, it's a good pitch."
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