Australia captain Meg Lanning has warned her Group A opponents that it’s only a matter of time before star batter Alyssa Healy recaptures her form.
Healy struck a world record 148 not out against Sri Lanka in October but struggled for runs in the recent tri-series, totalling just 15 in five innings against India and England. But the opener is not set to change her attacking mentality anytime soon, with Lanning backing the 29-year-old to come to the party in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020.
“Alyssa would love to have scored more runs in the tri-series but she’s shown, especially over the past two years, how good and dangerous she is,” said Lanning, speaking at the captains’ media day at Taronga Zoo, Sydney. “She’s a couple of shots away from being back in form and I’d be pretty nervous as a bowler coming up against her over the next few weeks.
She was reluctant at first, but it ended up being a high koala-ity selfie 🐨🤠🤠🤳 pic.twitter.com/3YvPkdljCA— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) February 17, 2020
“She’s got her swing back a little bit in training. It would be great if she’s back in form but at the same time, we need to make sure we have a number of people contributing. One person is not going to win you the number of games you need, so we need to make sure we perform as a team. I’ll be looking forward to seeing how she goes when she’s back.
“She’s in really good spirits, she’s being as cheeky as ever so looking forward to her getting out on the park.”
Australia go into their home tournament as defending champions having won four of the last five editions of the Women’s T20 World Cup. But they far from had things their own way with two victories and two defeats against England and India in the preceding tri-series, though they did go on to beat Harmanpreet Kaur’s side in the final.
She’s a couple of shots away from being back in form. I’d be pretty nervous as a bowler coming up against her over the next few weeks.
A tough Group A will see them come up against India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and while they’re favourites to make the MCG final on 8 March, Lanning knows they can’t take anything for granted.
She added: “Everyone starts on a level playing field, we’ve got a really tough group and the first goal is to get out of that. It’s not going to be easy, we haven’t thought further than the first game because it’s pretty cut-throat, take your eye off that for a second and you could be in trouble.
“We’re very aware that we have to play extremely well on the day to win, and it can only be a good thing for women’s cricket that there are a number of sides who can come here and do well.”