By Rob Barnett
England captain Charlotte Edwards is expecting a positive result in the Women’s Ashes Test, which holds a third of the points on offer in the multi-format series.
The one-off Test was drawn in last summer’s Ashes, meaning the teams went into the the limited-overs internationals on level terms.
However, this series’ Test, a four-day game starting tomorrow, is being played at the WACA where the playing surface should deteriorate to allow one side to claim victory.
Last month’s men’s Ashes Test there lasted four-and-a-half days, but by the end the pitch had become so cracked that batting was a lottery.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, Edwards, who oversaw England’s 12 points to four series win in 2013, said: “I personally don’t think this summer is going to have any bearing over what happens over the next few weeks.
“I think it’s important that we start well. I think we’ve seen that from the men’s series and I’ve no doubt it’s going to be the same here.
“With it being at the WACA as well, it’s going to be a fantastic occasion for everyone. Everyone keeps telling me there’s going to be a result here so that’s exciting within itself.
“We’re fully prepared. We’ve prepared as thoroughly as we possibly can and we can’t wait to get going tomorrow.”
With a positive result expected, England’s preparation in Perth has been focused solely on victory. Part of this saw them have the better of a draw with Australia A earlier this week.
“All our preparation has been around us winning this Test match,” Edwards explained.
“We feel we’ve got the squad to do that and I think it’s important that we start with that mentality. It’s a huge incentive to get that six points on the board early on.
“We know we’re going to have to play well, but our preparations have gone really well and we’ll be coming out hopefully all guns blazing tomorrow.”
On a bouncy WACA wicket Edwards is wary of the talents of two Australia players in particular: batter Meg Lanning and seamer Ellyse Perry.
Although Lanning has played just one Test - August’s stalemate at Wormsley - she averages 43.87 in one-day internationals. Perry has taken 10 wickets in four Tests at an average of 28.60 but, like Lanning, her ODI statistics of 79 wickets at 23.15 are even better.
“They’re a good team and both teams are very evenly matched,” Edwards added.
“Their standout players would have to be Meg Lanning with the bat and Ellyse Perry with the ball. Perry is going to be a threat at somewhere like the WACA, but we won’t underestimate anyone in their team.
“They’re full of quality players, as are we. It’s whose big players or whoever can perform consistently over this series are going to win.
“And that’s what’s exciting about playing against Australia, you’re playing against the best teams and there’s going to be some good cricket, which is also important.”
Follow the Women's Ashes ball-by-ball via the following media:
Live Scores: www.ecb.co.uk and www.cricket.com.au
Twitter: @ECB_cricket and @SouthernStars
Television: live stream at www.cricket.com.au
Radio: 5 Live Sports Extra, ABC Grandstand or online via www.cricket.com.au/live/audio-stream