After getting their first win of the Australia tour in the streak-ending third One-day International, Mithali Raj and Co head into the unknown with their first-ever day-night Test beginning at Gold Coast on Thursday.

There are a number of new challenges to contend with as India play Test cricket under the lights, the biggest one being the absolute lack of experience with the pink ball. With the third ODI concluding on Sunday and Monday being a rest day, India got only two practice sessions in the lead up to the landmark Test.

The team had not even practiced with the pink ball when training back in India, according to a report by ESPNCricinfo. So the squad has very little idea about how the pink ball will behave during the course of the game at the Metricon Stadium.

“The first training session that we had with the pink ball was yesterday,” Mithali was quoted as saying in the pre-match press interaction. “Yes, for everybody it was a little bit of a different experience because we are not so used to seeing a pink ball around. It does move quite a bit,” she added.

Australia, who played their lone day-night Test in November 2017, also go into the game with limited practice but their potent pace attack will be looking forward to wreaking havoc on the greenish pitch with the moving pink ball.

India did well in their first Test outing in seven years earlier this year, with young debutantes fighting out a draw against hosts England on the final day. But the skiddy pink-ball will pose a much tougher challenge for the visitors, especially the batters.

India and Australia last played a Test match back in 2006, where both 38-year-old veterans – Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami – featured. India’s chances in the upcoming match will hinge on them once again after 15 years, especially pacer Goswami with the new ball. She was the standout player of the third ODI and will look to carry that momentum with the pink ball.

Rookie Meghna Singh, who made impressive debuts in the ODI series, could be handed her Test debut, with all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar likely completing the pace combination. The experienced Shikha Pandey could also be in the mix, after being left out of the ODIs which were part of the World Cup preparation.

Off-spinning all-rounders Deepti Sharma and Sneh Rana, who played crucial roles in the England Test, will be part of the spin attack along with either Rajeshwari Gayakwad or Poonam Yadav.

Among the batters, vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur remains unavailable due to the injury sustained before the ODIs, though she did have a hit in the nets.

“Harman had injured her thumb while fielding that is why she is out. It has still not healed properly,” Mithali said on the eve of the match.

Newcomer Yastika Bhatia, the find of the ODI series, could well be handed a Test debut in Kaur’s stead, with Jemimah Rodrigues being the other option. The opening combination of Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma is set with Mithali and Punam Raut, who lost her place in the ODI side, likely to play. Wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia, who was pipped by Richa Ghosh in ODIs, is expected to be back behind the stumps in the longer format.

Australia, on the other hand, have been dealt a blow ahead of the game with vice-captain Rachael Haynes ruled out due to a hamstring injury. Skipper Meg Lanning said the team will either pick a fast-bowling all-rounder or a specialist batter in her place.

Annabel Sutherland, who impressed in the ODIs, is expected to make her debut.

“It will depend a little bit on the wicket. There is a green tinge there, and that potentially brings some of our pace-bowling all-rounders into the frame,” said Lanning.

“We just need to decide whether we want to go with the specific batter position or with the all-rounder position so we’ll make the call after training today.”

Australia will be determined to bounce back strongly after India ended their 26-match winning streak in ODIs.

Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Darcie Brown, Maitlan Brown, Stella Campbell, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Georgia Redmayne, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham.

India squad: Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Shikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh, Ekta Bisht.

The day-night Test begins on Thursday at 10:00 AM on Sony Sports.