After getting knocked out by India in the semi-finals of the previous edition, Australia will be looking to go all the way and win the title in the upcoming ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 in New Zealand.
The most successful country in the history of the tournament has announced a strong squad and will enter the mega event as one of the favourites to win the title once again.
Even though Australia have been plagued by injuries to some of their key players like Georgia Wareham, Sophie Molineux and Tayla Vlaeminck, the squad still has a blend of youth and experience capable of taking them all the way.
There is plenty of experience at the top of the order with Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry and Beth Mooney forming the top four. Perry is the most experienced among them having played 118 ODIs to date but each of Healy and Lanning have played more than 80 ODIs as well. Mooney has played only 44 matches in comparison, but she has established herself as a vital cog of their middle-order too.
Australia have plenty of other batting options, with the likes of Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Nicola Carey and Tahlia McGrath ready to slot into the middle-order.
On the bowling front, the experienced Megan Schutt will lead the attack, supported by talented youngsters Annabel Sutherland and 18-year-old Darcie Brown, while seam-bowling all-rounders Perry and McGrath are capable of delivering as frontline bowlers.
Jess Jonassen will lead the spin-bowling attack and will also look to add value with her batting lower down the order, and both Ashleigh Gardner and Grace Harris are effective options with their right-arm off-breaks.
Australia have also taken two more leg-spinners in the squad in Amanda-Jade Wellington and Alana King. Wellington has been recalled on the back of some impressive performances in the WBBL and domestic cricket, while King has been added after her impressive returns in the WBBL. She also made her Australia debut during the multi-format Women’s Ashes and will be eager to deliver impactful performances in the mega event once again.
Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes, Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington.
Traveling reserves: Hannah Darlington, Georgia Redmayne
- 5 Mar - England
- 8 Mar - Pakistan
- 13 Mar - New Zealand
- 15 Mar - West Indies
- 19 Mar - India
- 22 Mar - South Africa
- 25 Mar - Bangladesh
LOOK OUT FOR
The all-rounder has played only eight ODIs for Australia so far but she is making all the right noises ahead of the mega event. She scored an unbeaten 91 off just 49 deliveries in a T20I against England recently and registered bowling figures of 3 for 26 in the same match as well. McGrath also delivered with another fifty from a tricky situation in the only Test against England. Originally playing as a replacement for Ellyse Perry in the Women's Ashes series, McGrath has done enough to cement her place as one of the first names in Australia's lineup even in Perry's presence.
The wicketkeeper-batter needs no introduction. One of the most dangerous white-ball batters at present, Healy has amassed the second-most runs in ODIs since the last edition of the World Cup. She has scored 1544 runs during this period at a superb average of 53.24, including three centuries and 11 fifties. Her strike-rate of 105.24 is also the highest among players who have scored a minimum of 500 runs during this period. She gets her team off to rapid starts on most occasions and can take the game away from oppositions completely if she stays at the crease for long enough.
India - 19 March
Since the last edition of the World Cup, Australia have played 30 matches and have lost only twice, with one of those losses coming against India in September last year. Make no mistake it was India who knocked them out of the 2017 World Cup as Harmanpreet Kaur played a breathtaking knock of 183 in the semifinals. Australia will be pretty eager to exact revenge this time and that's why this is expected to be a tense encounter.
An integral part of the @AusWomenCricket team and with a World Cup looming, it's important to Jess Jonassen she has something to help her unwind and keep things 'normal' 👩🎓 #DirectHit pic.twitter.com/ztYPugSTNc— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 18, 2022
WHAT THE CAPTAIN SAID
"A lot of our players were involved in that 2017 World Cup, which didn't quite end the way we would have liked and I think since then we've changed the way we approach and play our cricket and are a lot more positive and willing to take a few more risks and I think that suited our game style.
"It is the trophy that we don't have our hands on at the moment and we're all very keen to try and change that. Being the No.1 ranked team, we go in there with a lot of confidence, but World Cups are extremely difficult to win."
Best Finish: Champions (1978, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2005, 2013)
Australia have reached the final of the World Cup in eight out of the 11 editions till now and have gone on to win the title on six occasions.
They have made it to at least the semi-finals in every edition and that sums up how successful they have been as a team.
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