Australia’s women at peak of their game
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.”