Just a couple of weeks to go and Australia will welcome India to lock horns for a multi-format series that consists of three ODIs, one-off Pink Ball test and three T20s. Meanwhile, Annabel Sutherland, the 20 years old fast-bowling all-rounder who missed the New Zealand series in March and April this year due to her leg injury, is now good to go with her fitness to grab the ball and her chance to prove herself with the defence once again, just as she comes out of the quarantine period.
Sutherland has now uncovered the call to pass on that limited-overs series across the Tasman was made using a bounty of alert, with team clinical staff not willing to hazard those early admonition signs forming into a more genuine injury during a packed visit that incorporated a fortnight of obligatory quarantine.
Annabel Sutherland told cricket.com.au from her hotel room in Brisbane, “I guess it was not necessarily an injury, but just something that was flagged and the medical team decided to take a bit of a conservative approach with it, considering the nature of the New Zealand tour with the quarantine,” and moved on to say, “Pretty much since that tour, I’ve been ready to go and I was able to get in a full pre-season which has been awesome.”
“It was my second full preseason, so I was trying to get fitter and stronger, and work on a few different things around my bowling and my stability at the crease to hopefully add a few kilometres to my bowling. Overall I was just looking to get stronger, and I’ll continue to do that,” she added.
With a full preseason added to her repertoire, Annabel Sutherland has pronounced herself prepared to take the new ball against India’s incredibly powerful top-order in the not-so-distant series, should she win determination for the job left empty by the absence of star bowler Megan Schutt, who is passing on the series subsequent to welcome her first kid with spouse Jess.
It is a job the Victorian has taken on previously; she opened the bowling close by Schutt in three one-dayers against New Zealand toward the beginning of the previous summer, when Ellyse Perry and Tayla Vlaeminck were both sidelined through injury. It is a job set to test whoever is tossed the new ball, as they face India’s star opening partnership of Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma.
“There’s a number of fast bowlers in the squad with Darcie (Brown), Stella (Campbell) and Tayla (Vlaeminck), plus the all-rounders – it’s a pretty good fast bowling attack. Anyone who gets the new ball will no doubt take it with both hands … I’ll certainly be putting my hand up for that as much as I can,” she noted and further added, “But no matter who takes the new ball, it will be a pretty good line-up. I think (bowling to) Shafali in particular, how hard she comes at the ball is in the powerplay, it’ll be a really good challenge and one all the girls are really looking forward to.”
Annabel Sutherland is likewise really hoping for a maiden Baggy Green in the oddball Test on the Gold Coast starting September 30, however, realizes it will be an intense selection battle with the guard-yield-of-quicks remembered for Australia’s 18-player side. “That’d be incredibly special,” Sutherland said of the potential for a Test debut,” Sutherland said and reiterated, “It’s a childhood dream for many and it was no different for me growing up. The Baggy Green means a lot to the girls who already have one, and the ones who don’t, we’ll be doing absolutely everything to put ours hand up for selection and get into that XI.”
For the time being, Annabel Sutherland and her Victoria and NSW team-mates are suffering tuff isolation in Brisbane – their first taste of the severe limitations, as training session was allowed during their quarantine periods before their last two series, both against New Zealand. It was a penance the players were glad to make to guarantee the tour could continue, and Sutherland was satisfied to report the initial few days had passed rapidly.”I’m not sure how long that’ll last, but I’m hoping that continues for the next 12 days,” Sutherland laughed.
To remain associated and mentally connected, the players have been eating their suppers together over video calls, while every morning Victoria pacer Tayla Vlaeminck plays the role of a quizmaster, reading out a newspaper quiz to test the knowledge of her team-mates.”We’ve been doing that with breakfast which has been good fun, although Meg (Lanning) won yesterday and Pez (Ellyse Perry) won this morning, so I think the questions are geared towards a slightly older generation,” Sutherland laughed and further added, “Wolf (Georgia Wareham) and I are hoping for some more youth in the questions.”
When they are released out of the quarantine on September 13, Annabel Sutherland and her teammates will be brought together with the remaining six players of the Australian squad, with a week to get ready for the opening ODI in Mackay on September 21.