They might be the No.1 team, but Australian don’t have any of the most recent ICC trophies in their cabinet. “It’s something we’re looking to rectify” at the upcoming World T20, says Alyssa Healy.
Healy played the three Twenty20 Internationals against New Zealand in September-October, and was Player of the Series after slamming 57 and 67 from the top of the order in the second and third games respectively.
“To contribute to the team batting at the top of the order was pretty fun and hopefully I can maintain that throughout the summer. We’ve got a lot of cricket left and hopefully I haven’t peaked too soon, but I’ll keep working hard and hopefully I can contribute,” she said on Friday, 12 October.
Not having either World Cup in our cabinet is something pretty unheard-of with this team, so it’s something we’re looking to rectify
“I think it’s just confidence," she explained her success. "I just enjoyed a really good pre-season at home, worked really hard off the field, with my batting and keeping as well. I’m feeling really confident at the top of the order … [and] the faith from the selectors and the coaching staff, and from the team as well.”
The 28-year-old wicket-keeper batter opened for Australia early in her career, but made the spot her own only since late last year in T20Is.
“I was forced to change the way I went about it a little bit,” she said of the quick starts she has been providing the team. “We obviously lost Alex Blackwell (who retired earlier this year), who’s a really good leader in our side, and we had senior players away for the pre-season, and it was time for Alyssa Healy to try and stand up and do something a little bit different.
“I really enjoyed that, I really relished that opportunity. It was a fun pre-season and hopefully, it’s put me in good stead for the summer.”
Not too far away is the ICC Women’s World T20 2018, to be played in the Caribbean. Australia have a tour of Kuala Lumpur coming up, where they will play three one-day internationals and three T20Is against Pakistan before travelling to the West Indies.
The series sweep of New Zealand, Healy feels, was the perfect way to get ready for Pakistan and then the big one.
Alyssa Healy's form with the bat has been 👌— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@SouthernStars) October 11, 2018
Is it the depth of the Aussie side driving her to new heights?
Coach Mott certainly think so! https://t.co/Ek7WhpwlFg
“Especially in T20 cricket, momentum is a really crucial part of that, and for us to beat a quality side in New Zealand, and do it three-nil, is pretty hard to do. We’ll take a lot of confidence out of that going first to Malaysia and then to the West Indies for the T20 World Cup,” she said.
Playing in the foreign conditions of Malaysia would be good practice before they head to unfamiliar venues in the West Indies, she felt. "We’re heading to some places in the West Indies where we’ve never been before – so the practice games and that series against Pakistan will be really crucial for us to maintain that momentum. That shift we have made in our T20 format … we need to maintain that and hopefully keep rolling right through the World Cup.”
Australia have won the World T20 thrice in five editions, but are currently in the somewhat unfamiliar position of not being world champions in either the 50-over or the 20-over formats.
“We might be ranked No.1 in the world, but we don’t have any trophies at the moment. So it’s extra incentive for us,” Healy said.
“West Indies obviously hold the T20 World Cup, [so] to go over there and take it off their hands on their home soil is something every team is looking forward to doing. But for us, not having either World Cup in our cabinet is something pretty unheard-of, so it’s something we’re looking to rectify.”
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