They are a thrill for fans and peril nightmare for their opponents.
No other team has played the T20 World Cup with such distinct flair and gathered such successes as the girls from Down Under. 4 World Titles in T20Is mean something big. No grand- right? Take them lightly only at your own peril. If you think they’ll wait for you to attack before they call their shots- then think again. If you act too defensive, then probably you’re doing it wrong. At times, the funny part is, the moment you think of going on the offensive, what generally follows from the front is a counter-attacking display of batting and ballsy bowling. There’s only one thing to expect from the Australia Women’s team: expect the unexpected.
Ever heard of that? You may have. Well, we saw it a few days back when despite India cruising in their run-chase in the tri-series finals, the team’s middle and lower-order ran into the unassuming but clever Jess Jonassen.
Suddenly, the tables had turned; the Indians were dumbfounded and the Oz all chilling and cheery!
You just don’t know how to tame these untameable beasts called the Australian women’s team, right?
So the simple thing about the Australia women’s team is that you just don’t know which match-winner will come out on top or all guns blazing as they say.
For the simple reason that one match-winner comes after another. Even if you get Alyssa Healy out cheaply- there’s always the dangerous Beth Mooney. If you get both of them out quickly, there’s the in-form Ashleigh Gardner.
If you get this trio out, then the likes of Meg Lanning (a superstar), the imperious Ellyse Perry and the very determined Rachael Haynes will hang you out to dry.
Then the newly-picked Nicola Carey can find fours when none seem possible. What’s more? Even Jonassen or Molineux can hang out a bit.
When the bowling begins, then what commences is another starry show. Megan Schutt, highest-wicket taker for the side last edition (2018, held in the West Indies) is about as daunting to overcome as is the legendary all rounder Perry. What’s more?
If you thought that that was enough, then perhaps world cricket’s most audacious cricketing force has inducted two fine finds of the season in Tayla Vlaeminck and the newcomer Annabel Sutherland.
That’s Australia in a nutshell: where one player is handy enough to take down all eleven on a given day and where a combined attack can simply wither you down.
Entering the tournaments as the favorites, Australia had to hold on to its strengths and treat it to a double souvenir this year.
Australia will go harder and explosive in this edition as they are well aware that the other teams are likely to spring in a surprise.
While the scorer of the highest-individual T20 score ever (148 not out) in Alyssa Healy will bat at the top, Ashley Gardner will embrace the middle-order. The staunch technique and monk-like calmness in the burly batting order will be exuded by the captain, Meg Lanning herself.
There are scorers, there are big scorers and then there are giants of the game in Lanning.
Ellyse Perry and the vice-Captain Rachael Haynes will take over the duties down the order. You just don’t know what’s to come.
This is a fully packed unit.
One that has firepower and flair, balance and alacrity.
The Aussies have equipped themselves with over 5 all-rounders who bring in additional batting and bowling options. A point to note. It is a team that is undergoing transitions in all forms, be it the players, combinations or the approach one takes towards each game. Australia have time and again, proved they can crack any sort of a game plan and get acclimatized according to the demand of the game.
Moving on, Australia have one definite plan, that is to win matches, the effort can come through the lower-order batter or a part-time bowling option. Such is the variety in the dynamic options they choose and put across in a complete series.
Meg Lanning, who is already the highest run-getter in T20Is for her side- 2600 runs- is slated to appear in her 100th International T20I.
When she takes the field in the second world cup game, she would’ve completed a fine milestone.
Alyssa Healy, earlier in September 2019, played her 100th T20I match against Sri Lanka. Perry already has an unmatched and envy-inspiring talent and experience in T20I, having played 116 matches.
Australia have numerous bowling options. But there’s this one issue they’d like to master. Often, they’ve wobbled versus spin.
This was evident in the recent tri-series against India and England in Australia. At times, their batswomen just lose the plot when the going is smooth.
The bowling department is lead by the fierce pacer Meghan Schutt. The veteran has a lot many variations on offer and genuine pace, that’ll limit batters to take off instantly.
Perry alone is the most potent threat in the Aussie T20 arsenal. Thus far, with 36 dismissals, she’s taken most by an Aussie bowler in T20 World Cup games.
Australia’s fastest pacer Tayla Vlaeminck, who is in sensational form, right now is the go-to pace option in place of Kimmimce.
Her striking form to chip in with early wickets (and restricting the run flow) has given the Australia women’s team the next class of pacers. In the 2nd match of the Tri-series against India recently, Vlaeminck troubled India with match-winning figures of 4-1-13-3 as the visitors had to submit.
Jess Jonassen has risen to the occasion in the finals of the tri-series and found back her form. She razed through the Indian line-up with her 5-wicket haul that left no chance for India’s recovery. Sophie Molineux returned to the squad after a much-wanted break, while Georgia Wareham made her ground to stay as the reliable spin option.
That’s the thing with the bowling line up; there’s one match-winner after another, yet again. The kind of stuff most teams would becry facing.
But don’t forget, Australia women’s team are finding a niggle to outplay spin options, so teams like India, Bangladesh have a tough spin attack- we mustn’t forget.
They would have to overcome these tiny niggles and perform to the best capacity.
With the captain leading the team by example, Australia women’s team will aim to retain its unparalleled dominance in the shortest format under the captainship of Meg Lanning.
It will be a spectacle and one not too surprising after all, if they lift the World Cup at home, which would mean the home side would prevail as the unbeatable superpowers in the women’s game- yet again.
Wow, is the fifth title just down the corner?