Australia v India, women's Test, Adelaide February 16, 2006

Australia to field three debutantes

Cricinfo staff



Jodie Purves gears up for her debut Test against India at the Adelaide Oval © Getty Images
Australia go into the one-off Test against India at Adelaide under the leadership of Karen Rolton for the first time following the retirement of Belinda Clark. The squad includes three uncapped players - the New South Wales fast bowler Sarah Andrews, Queensland wicketkeeper Jodie Purves and Queensland captain Melissa Bulow.

Speaking to the media, Sarah Andrews said: "I don't think I was expecting to be playing tomorrow. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I was coming to terms with my call-up into the touring squad, so I'm absolutely thrilled and can't wait to get the ball in my hands tomorrow."

Jodie Purves said that she would be looking to emulate Ian Healy. She said: "It's a great honour to wear the baggy green cap. Ian Healy was my hero growing up and I always hoped that one day I would get the chance to follow his path and play Test cricket, and it's really exciting to be in that position now."

Melissa Bulow said: "We were served for a long time by the likes of Belinda Clark and Lisa Keightley at the top of the order and, with their retirements, it's time for a couple of players to step up and fill that opening spot. I've been given the chance to do so tomorrow which is a privilege and also a challenge I'm looking forward to."

Kate and Alex Blackwell are set to make cricket history when they become the first identical twins to play Test cricket for Australia on home soil. Although Steve and Mark Waugh played for Australia, they are not identical. The Blackwells played two Tests together in England last year.

Alex, who is older by 10 minutes, told Adelaide's The Advertiser she was looking forward to the match. "We can't wait. We don't get to play in Test matches very often, so any time we do it is a huge thrill and the Indians will be a tough team," she said. "We are very proud that we are the first identical twins to play cricket for Australia, but hopefully we can really perform well at this level and become great players of the game as well, not just twins."

Asked about the inevitable comparisons to the Waughs, she said: "We have looked up to them, they represented the country for a long time and are both awesome players."

Australia play one Test and three limited-overs internationals against India at Adelaide, with the limited-overs games billed as a rematch of the 2005 World Cup final.

Australia Karen Rolton (capt), Sarah Andrews, Alex Blackwell, Kate Blackwell, Melissa Bulow, Cathryn Fitzpatrick, Michelle Goszko, Julie Hayes, Lisa Sthalekar, Shelley Nitschke, Kirsten Pike, Jodie Purves (wk), Clea Smith.