Australia Women will be hoping to carry their form from the One-Day International series when they take on India and England in a Twenty20 International tri-series in Mumbai starting on Thursday (March 22).
Beth Mooney, one of Australia’s prolific batters, conceded that while the visitors, who had recently clinched a 3-0 sweep of the ODI series against hosts India, weren’t as consistent in the shortest format of the game, their preparations had already begun in that series win, with the 2018 World Twenty20 coming up later this year in the Caribbean.
“If you look at the scorecards of the last two games, I think we had already half-started transitioning into the T20Is. It’s been really good. We kicked a lot of goals in the ODI series and we have got few left which we would like to kick in T20 series,” said Mooney while talking to reporters on Tuesday (March 20).
Mooney herself was relatively successful in her new batting role in the middle order, having previously been preferred to open along with Nicole Bolton, who was named the Player of the Series for her 195 runs across three innings. Mooney racked up 90 runs across two innings, having not gotten a chance to bat in the first ODI, and a half-century in the first warm-up match of the tour and claimed that she would return to her usual opening role for the T20I series.
“I might be back to my normal spot in this series, so starting off the innings would be really nice if I get that opportunity. Hopefully, I can hit the balls like did in the one-dayers.”
Mooney isn’t underestimating the likes of Smriti Mandhana, who was one of the few Indian batters to successfully tackle the Australian bowling attack and backs her to come good in the T20I series .
“Smirti had a wonderful series for India and took the game at top of the order. It’s almost frightening to think about how she is going to play in the T20Is.”
The 2016 World Twenty20 runners-up have a veritable feast of talented batters with Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes and Mooney is ready for any challenge that the team management will pose to her, like a shuffle in the batting order, if needed.
“We are really fortunate to have so many world-class batters and if I am asked to bat at any position, I think I am in the position right now with my game that I can do the job from any spot,” she offered.
Australia’s last T20I series was against England in the multi-format Women’s Ashes back home in Australia where England clinched the T20I series 2-1 but lost the Ashes to the hosts. Mooney expressed her excitement at taking on Heather Knight’s side that includes the returning Kate Cross and new faces in Katie George, Bryony Smith and Alice-Davidson Richards.
“It always gets competitive against our old-enemy England. They have some new faces in their squad which should be interesting. They have some world-class players who will be looking to take the game on.”
With an hour’s difference between when the games began in Vadodara and when they will kick-off in Mumbai, Mooney believes that a balanced wicket at the Brabourne Stadium will make for a brilliant contest between bat and ball.
“Hopefully, the wicket holds up for all the games that will be played. Hopefully, it’s got some runs for the batters a little bit for the bowlers as well.”
Australia take on India in the opening game of the T20I tri-series in Mumbai.