Aus­tralia’s women at peak of their game

The Weekend Post - - Sport - EL­IZA SEWELL

COULD this be the best Aus­tralian women’s team ever as­sem­bled?

As the Aussies pre­pared to play their first World T20 match against Pak­istan in Guyana early this morn­ing, ar­guably never have so many women been at the peak of their pow­ers at the one time.

Opener Beth Mooney blasted last sum­mer’s Big Bash with a strike rate of 144 per 100 balls.

Her part­ner at the top of the or­der will be Alyssa Healy, who scored a to­tal of 54 runs in six in­nings in the 2016 World Cup. Now the wick­et­keeper vir­tu­ally doesn’t walk off for any­thing less than a half cen­tury to her name.

Ash­leigh Gard­ner is the mer­cu­rial No.3. A lot of faith has been shown in the young­ster and she’s been patchy at times, but she’s in the premier po­si­tion for a rea­son. This could be her break­out tour­na­ment.

Cap­tain Meg Lan­ning comes in at four and be­cause the team’s so bril­liant, maybe the best player of them all has been pushed into the shad­ows a lit­tle in her re­turn from se­ri­ous in­jury this year.

El­yse Vil­lani is en­joy­ing an In­dian sum­mer at the age of 29, the one-time opener now very com­fort­able in the mid­dle or­der.

Rachael Haynes was plucked from nowhere to cap­tain the side last sum­mer af­ter Lan­ning had shoul­der surgery, and has re-emerged and blos­somed. She is av­er­ag­ing 40 in her past four hits.

Ell­yse Perry is ar­guably the world’s best all-rounder. With a Test dou­ble ton to her name, she is a se­ri­ous lux­ury com­ing in fifth bat­ter down at No.7.

“I can def­i­nitely say I think the team is in as great a place as I’ve ever seen it,” Aus­tralian coach Matthew Mott said.

“I think it’s a great op­por­tu­nity. We feel we’ve got a team for all sea­sons.

“They’ve earned their spot but they breathed new life into some of the older play­ers – al­beit 26, 27 – that should be in their prime and play­ing their best cricket.”

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