Australia’s allrounder Ashleigh Gardner is named in the 14-player squad that will travel to the United Kingdom to defend The Ashes in multi-format.
Australia will play against England in 3 ODI, 3 T20I and only Test match. Gardner missed out on the playing XI in 2017’s inaugural pink ball test match as Australia chose to play additional pace bowler.
Thinking about surprise omission from the XI which denied her Test debut 18 months ago, Gardner says she is a now more mature person and player should a maiden Baggy Green come her way in England.
“Personally, I didn’t think I was ready,” Gardner said to cricket.com.au.
“It’s been two years since that (Test) and I know I’ve grown not only as a cricketer but a as a person and I know what I have to do to earn my spot.”
Gardner added: “It was obviously really disappointing not to be in that Test match being in Sydney where I grew up.
“That would have been a massive thing in my career. I was just 20 back then. That would have been an amazing thing to do.
“I think I’ve matured so much since then, just the way I go about my cricket. Off the field I’m more mature as well but I think on the field knowing I have more time than what I do. That was a massive thing back then.”
Though Gardner has established herself as one of the destructive batters in the world cricket, her impressive performances have mainly come from T20 format. Test cricket, played with a red ball is however a different scenario altogether. Test cricket is considered as ultimate format of the sport which required perfect mixture of skill, technique, patience and temperament.
However, Gardner says, “I’ve been told if I was to play in that game not to change what I do,”
“I think if I was to play in that game I would be coming in around No.7 … I’ve been told even if we’re 5-50 not to change what I do because I feel like when I go into my shell that’s when I don’t play as well as I could, and I do things I wouldn’t normally do.
“If the ball is in my spot to trust my instincts and go with it rather than stay in my shell and do things I wouldn’t normally do.
Talking about lack of test matches being played between other nations except Australia and England, she said, ”
“I don’t just think there’s enough depth in international cricket at the moment for other countries to play.
“India is up to the standard to play a Test match but until we can get three or four more countries to be at that level there won’t be more Test matches played.
“Hopefully with the game going forward we do play more Test match cricket and we can play more games in the Baggy Green because I know how treasured that is for Australian cricketers.
“That would definitely be the cherry on top. Representing your country in any format is really special. If I was to receive (a Baggy Green) then it would be an absolute on honour.”