While Australia has been under a curse for the past few months, with some of the finest players sitting out due to injuries, it is always golden for the team to welcome such players on board. Beth Mooney is among these players who are set to make a comeback into the squad after leaving the WPL midway. The player suffered a calf injury due to which she was compelled to leave Gujarat Giants as a captain.
Three months after the incident, the player is now in peak health and all set to rejoin the squad for the Ashes. She has reportedly joined the pre-camp for the Ashes and is now in Brisbane, training with her fellow members.
Australia is scheduled to play three Test match tournaments in the next 9 months, which is indeed a huge deed for the whole squad. The games will be played against teams like India and South Africa, which makes it crucial for the squad to hold firm ground. Mooney sees the upcoming games as an opportunity to make it huge and break the demon curse by achieving bigger and better numbers.
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Beth Mooney has registered 2 half-centuries to her name as of yet and has played only 4 Test games. What matters is her average (26.28) which is simply half of her ODI average of 52.45. This has sparked a burning desire in Mooney to do better in the upcoming Test games and achieve laurels as she has done with her hat-trick T20 World Cup titles for the squad.
Speaking to a cricket.com.au, Beth Mooney stated, “That’s been a bit of a demon on my shoulder in the last few (Tests), I haven’t quite conquered that yet. It’s going to be really tough conditions to be able to do that (in England).
He continued: “But being able to play a couple of Test matches over summer will be really helpful with working out the plan … because obviously it’s pretty different to the white-ball formats. It’s something that all the batters want to do for sure, but first and foremost, it’s how can I get the team into a position where we can win the Test.”
It simply isn’t just a player’s wish to make it huge at the Test games. Captain Healy too feels the same. Beth Mooney stated, “Having a hundred in all three formats is definitely a driving force.”
“I only really got a crack every two years, so to have three opportunities in the next six months is really exciting. It’s not top of my priority list – if I retire and that doesn’t happen – that’s completely fine. Whatever opportunities come in this Test match it will be good to just go out there and play Test cricket with the Dukes ball. I mean, that’s awesome.”
Australia’s batting order also seems a little disturbed with Meg Lanning being out of the squad and Mooney moving to the 3rd position. Healy has also moved down the order and much more adjustments are expected.
Beth Mooney said, “I’m happy to bat wherever I fit in. I’ve been lucky to bat in a number of different positions in the team across the last few years and there’s not one in particular that I hate or one in particular I love. I enjoy being the person that they can ask, ‘can you bat here or here?’
“There will be a couple of spots up the top (of the order) which will be really exciting and challenging at the same time. But I’m pretty lucky and grateful that I can probably cope anywhere at the moment.”
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Coach Shelley Nitschke has also taken note of these changes, especially in the case of Pheobe Litchfield and has stated, “It’s a big workload to keep in a Test match, and then expect her to head out there and open up the batting as well.”
“To be physically and mentally able to do that, it’s a tough call. So that’s a decision and discussion that we’ll have … but it’s certainly one that I’m open to because I understand it’s pretty big ask to do what she does in Test match cricket,” she further added.
The Ashes are all set to begin from the 22nd onwards this month.
Ashes 2023 Squad:
Australia squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham
Ashes 2023 Schedule:
Test: June 22-26 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham
First T20I: July 1 at Edgbaston, Birmingham
Second T20I: July 5 at The Oval, London
Third T20I: July 8 at Lord’s, London
First ODI: July 12 at The County Ground, Bristol
Second ODI: July 16 at The Rose Bowl, Southampton
Third ODI: July 18 at The County Ground, Taunton