Shepparton News

Aussies setting sights on Indians

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Australia will have a week together to prepare for its multi-format series against India, having waited 18 months for the women’s Twenty20 World Cup final rematch.

The rivals will play three Twenty20s, a day-night Test and three one-dayers in Queensland, with the games split between Mackay and Gold Coast.

The majority of Australia’s squad, travelling from Sydney and Melbourne, has started hotel-quarantine stints and is due to be released on September 13.

The series-opening ODI is on September 21.

It is a sharp turnaround, especially given Australia hasn’t played a match or had a training camp together since its tour of New Zealand ended in April.

Brisbane-based batter Beth Mooney, who has enjoyed far more freedom than Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy and other teammates during recent months, says a week of training in the Queensland capital will ensure everybody shakes off the rust and gets on the same page.

‘‘That week leading into the first game on the 21st will be really important for us,’’ Mooney said.

‘‘The Australian team are coming off a pretty slow winter.

‘‘We’ve been training within our states, which has been a great system for us for a long time, but there’s nothing like playing internatio­nal cricket.

‘‘We’ve only played 12 games of internatio­nal cricket since that T20 World Cup final, all against the same opponent New Zealand, so it’s a really exciting time.’’

Mooney, who admitted she was disappoint­ed that circumstan­ces prompted her withdrawal from England’s recent The Hundred competitio­n, has been batting under lights against the pink ball.

‘‘And been really tested,’’ the star opener said.

‘‘It’s pretty foreign to us, but it’s still a bat, ball and cricket match.’’

The main focus of Lanning’s side will be on next year’s oneday World Cup, which begins in March.

Australia was ousted at the semi-final stage of the 2017 ODI World Cup by India, but is riding a record 24-game winning streak in the format.

‘‘It’s a real reset for us,’’ Mooney said.

‘‘The end goal is the World Cup.

‘‘Our priority now is making sure we get the right make up of our team in the next little bit, get the right people firing at the right time.’’

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