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Aussie women's coach Nitschke backs multi-format series

Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS

Coach Shelley Nitschke stands by playing multi-format series as Australia continue to determine how best to prepare for Test matches amid a hectic white-ball calendar.

Australia sealed victory in the one-day international leg of the series against South Africa with a 110-run win in the decisive third match at North Sydney Oval on Saturday.

Having been focusing almost entirely on white-ball cricket, Australia now have limited time to shift focus to the one-off Test that closes out the series at the WACA Ground from Thursday.

It's a familiar set of circumstances for Alyssa Healy's side.

Test matches against India and England last year fell amid multi-format series as well, meaning Australia had to juggle white-ball preparation with less familiar red-ball training.

Australia won the Ashes Test match against England after giving extra weight to red-ball practice, but their T20I and ODI performances suffered and their hosts won both series.

Australia were thrashed in the one-off Test against India in Mumbai, having come into the game on the back of a WBBL summer and white-ball series against West Indies.

They dominated the T20I and ODI series, though.

"It's actually a really difficult one when we don't play a lot of Tests," Nitschke said of preparations for the South Africa Test.

"This one I think we're going to get over to Perth, get the red-balls out, get the conditions. I think every time we play a Test we're learning and learning.

"To be able to flick to another format is hopefully becoming more adaptable and easier to do."

Meg Lanning last week called for cricket powerbrokers to either schedule more Tests to allow players to do justice to the format, or focus solely on white-ball games.

Lanning's successor as captain, Healy, has previously flagged her hopes of playing multi-game series in future.

But Nitschke backed the current scheduling as white-ball tournaments remain the pinnacle of the women's game.

"I really like the multi-format series. I think they work really well," she said.

"They present some challenges with preparation but that's part of it, both teams going through it.

"I think it strikes a really good balance for what we need at the moment whilst we've still got white-ball World Cups, which are a real focus for us."

South Africa last played a Test match in June 2022 so held a red-ball camp before they arrived in Australia.

But like their hosts, the tourists put the red balls away amid the T20I and ODI series and now rapidly shift their attention to the longest format.

"It's obviously difficult playing a Test match without playing much domestic red-ball stuff. I think we're going to do a crash course in the next few days," said captain Laura Wolvaardt.