Injuries leave line-up in doubt
STAR Australian batter Rachael Haynes flew to the Gold Coast with her teammates on Monday as officials wait on scan results that could determine if she plays in this week’s Test match against India.
Haynes and fellow batting gun Beth Mooney were both forced from the field during India’s victorious run chase on Sunday in Mackay as Australia’s 25-match one-day winning streak came to an end.
Both had varying degrees of hamstring soreness, with Haynes severe enough to be sent for scans before she flew south with her teammates.
Australian captain Meg Lanning said she didn’t think the injury issues were “anything major” but if one or both missed the Test match the team’s batting depth would get a significant test.
Haynes made 93 not out in the opening ODI, missed the second after copping a blow to her elbow in the nets, then returned to make 13 in the third game. Mooney was the matchwinner in game two with an unbeaten 125, which she backed up with 52 in Sunday’s loss.
“We will assess it and hopefully we can put together our strongest team,” Lanning said after spinner Georgia Wareham also suffered a quad injury last Friday and Sophie Molineux took a nasty knock to her face on Sunday.
The entire seven-match, multi-format series against India is being played across just 20 days, so any injuries can have a major impact. Australia is already without fast bowlers Megan Schutt and Tayla Vlaeminck for the one-off Test, while spinner Jess Jonassen won’t play any of the series.
Lanning said exposing young quicks Darcie Brown,
Hannah Darlington and Stella Campbell in the one-day series could have more immediate benefits for the Test match.
“We knew we’d be tested with our depth,” Lanning said.
“It did provide us the opportunity for younger players to have a crack and show us what they’ve got. Everyone who has come in has played a role and showed some exciting skills.
“It’s great for our future, to be able to come and contribute straight away shows how strong the depth is.”
All-rounder Annabel Sutherland also claimed 3-30 from seven overs in her first international in almost a year on Sunday. Lanning said she bowled the 19-year-old more than had been planned prematch, making the “instinct call” given how well her bowling was suiting the conditions.
But her ability with the bat could be called on for the Test match should Haynes or Mooney be unavailable.
“She was excellent,” Lanning said.
“She’s had to wait her turn a little bit to get her crack and today was her opportunity, and I thought she did a great job.
“It’s going to be pretty difficult to pick the team (for the Test), there’s a lot of good young fast bowlers in form. It’s going to come down to what the conditions look like and how we think we can take 20 wickets, which is going to be the biggest challenge.”