Meg Lanning will miss Australia’s ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 match against South Africa in Taunton on Saturday due to a chronic shoulder injury, Cricket Australia have confirmed.
The Australian skipper, who has been in excellent form with scores of 152 not out, 48, 40 and 76 not out in her last four league games, will be replaced at the helm by Rachael Haynes. Alex Blackwell will remain the vice-captain.
“We've been managing (Meg) for the last couple of months, the shoulder's been giving her a bit of grief,” Mott, the Australia coach, told the Cricket Australia website.
"We always envisaged that she was going to miss a game or two through the tournament, we’re just trying to manage the shoulder through. It was a conservative decision, I think she'll be fine going forward.”
Alyssa Healy, Australia's wicketkeeper-batter, also backed Lanning to return for the knock-out stage of the tournament. “She's a trooper. She's been doing unbelievably well for a fairly long period of time," she said.
"She's our leader and it's nice to have her on the park. She can smack a 70-odd with one arm, unbelievable player. And hopefully we can get her through to the end of the World Cup.”
Haynes, who made her debut in 2009, has played 35 One-Day Internationals, scoring 860 runs at an average of 32. The left-hand batter has featured in only one game in the tournament, captaining the side against Pakistan when Lanning was ruled out of the game with the same shoulder issue. Haynes made 28 as Australia won by 159 runs.
Australia has already sealed a semi-final spot with five wins in six games. One more win would ensure it remains in the top two in the points table.