Next gen breaks through for national team
AS the Australia-India series concludes on Sunday, regardless of the result the green and gold will come out with a wealth of information about its next generation of cricketers.
The absence of key senior players such as Rachael Haynes, Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen has left the side looking for new options. Four debutants were handed their baggy green for the recent Test – allrounder Annabel Sutherland and bowlers Georgia Wareham, Darcie Brown and Stella Campbell.
Allrounder Tahlia McGrath earned her T20 international debut, while teenager Hannah Darlington played her first game for the green and gold in the opening ODI of the series last month.
The team’s veteran wicketkeeper, Alyssa Healy, said with a packed cricket ahead, getting experience into the younger players was important.
“We’ve had really solid, similar group for really long period of time and finding the right time to, I guess, blood the new has been really challenging,” she said.
“So this is one of those exciting opportunities to be able to do that and I know the younger players are chomping at the bit.”
Healy said although Australia A hadn’t been able to play cricket due to Covid, what was going on at the domestic level was creating a strong line-up of cricketers waiting to take the Aussie reins.
“Whilst I believe there should be more opportunity for them to play games, they’re getting exposed to high level cricket through the WBBL quite regularly,” she said.
“So I don’t feel like they feel it’s a huge step up for them to come into the Aussie program.
“While this opportunity is a forced one (through injury), I think it’s the right time … and against a side like India, who we’ve thrown a similar attack to over the last few years.
“To be able to throw something new at them is a really exciting thing for us.”
The injured Haynes agreed it was good to see the likes of Sutherland and Wareham given more opportunity.