The Aussie women’s team are currently going through the warm-up phase before their opening match against India this Friday, and it’s hard not to miss the comments about how the team, and certain players, are going.
It’s easy to get caught up in the fact that our team is the best in the world, and has been for a while now. it’s not hard to understand why fans would be disappointed when our team is playing poorly, or get beaten, especially in close games where they seemed to be their own worst enemies.
I’ve been in teams that played in pre-season tournaments and warm-up games, and coaches generally use those games to work on tactics and get combinations going so that when it comes time to play the season proper or the tournament, the team is ready to go.
I’m the first to admit that a selection or two raised my eyebrows and I’ve been disappointed in the way some of our players have been playing.
But the thing to remember is this:
It’s much better to be ironing out the kinks now than half-way through the tournament.
And besides, Meg Lanning made a great comment after the tri-series that it’s much better for the team to be playing tough matches in the lead-up to a big tournament like the World Cup, because it proved to them that they can pull a game back from the brink when and if they need to.
That should give us Aussie cricket fans the confidence that when the chips are down, the Aussie women will do everything they can to win a match they look like losing.
Cricket’s such a funny game.
It’s a team sport that relies on individual performances, and sometimes, what’s required is for one or two players to take the game by the throat and make it theirs.
After watching the tri-series and seeing the scorecard for the warm-up match v South Africa, any number of our team can be one of those players.
Wickets were spread between bowlers, they bowled well in pairs, and although some of our batters didn’t play as well as they’d hoped, Haynes and Lanning are back in the runs, and our all-rounders are hitting the ball well in the back end of the innings.
And that’s exciting because it means we’re not always relying on Lanning or Perry to pull us out of a tough spot which we’ve tended to do in the past.
And just a quick word on Alyssa Healy, because she’s having a lean trot at the moment.
She’s hands down the best female wicketkeeper in the country at the moment and while that’s still the case, she should still be in the team.
Should she be dropped down the order if her lean spell continues?
Maybe, but I don’t think it’s necessary.
She’s a see-ball, hit-ball sort of player so sometimes she’ll hit and sometimes she’ll miss. She just happens to be missing at the moment, but I reckon, come opening match, she’ll be on.
And she’s paired well with Mooney, who’s an accumulater until she gets going in her innings.
Healy will have something to prove in this tournament, and I wouldn’t mind betting she’ll go close to leading run scorer.
At the very least, I’m hoping the Aussie really fire this tournament, because I’d love to watch them win the World Cup final in Melbourne along with 90,000+ other cricket fans.