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“It’s Really Tough To Leave Out A Player Like JJ” – Australia Head Coach Shelley Nitschke Impressed With Jess Jonassen’s WPL 2024 Performance

The Australian Women’s Cricket Team boasts a wealth of both youthful talent and seasoned veterans. However, this abundance presents its challenges, particularly when it comes to managing player rotation and ensuring everyone gets playing time. Unfortunately, this rotation meant that Jess Jonassen found herself sidelined for the upcoming series against Bangladesh, marking the first time since her debut in 2012.

There were even concerns about her inclusion in the squad for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup later in the year. Under Alyssa Healy’s captaincy during the recent India tour, Jonassen’s opportunities were notably diminished compared to her time under Meg Lanning’s leadership.

Despite these setbacks, Jess Jonassen has shown remarkable resilience in the ongoing Women’s Premier League (WPL) playing under her former skipper Meg Lanning. Playing a pivotal role for the Delhi Capitals, she has excelled both with the ball, taking 11 wickets, and with the bat, contributing crucial cameos and driving the DC to victories singlehandedly.

Shelley Nitschke had words of praise for Jess Jonassen [Image: Getty]
Shelley Nitschke had words of praise for Jess Jonassen [Image: Getty]
Speaking about this the Australian Head Coach, Shelley Nitschke was quoted as saying, “It was a tough decision and she was very disappointed. To see how she’s responded in the WPL, to me it’s no surprise she’s done that. She’s a real fighter. Certainly not surprised with how she’s going about that and making a statement which is exactly what we like to see.”

She further added, “It’s really tough to leave out a player like JJ (Jess Jonassen) who has been around for a long time. She has been a great servant for us. But she’s certainly not out of the mix. She’s showing exactly what she is capable of over in the WPL which has been fantastic to watch.”

ALSO READ: WPL 2024: Delhi Capitals (DC) – SWOT Analysis

Jess Jonassen has been impressive in the WPL 2024

Australia’s spin contingent for the Bangladesh tour includes Ashleigh Gardner, Georgia Wareham, Alana King, and Sophie Molineux. Nitschke noted, “We’ve got a few things to look at and make decisions on, there’s a little bit of time to go between now and then”. 

The Bangladesh tour, Australia’s first bilateral series against them, offers a valuable pre-World Cup scouting mission of conditions in Mirpur particularly when it comes to the three T20Is. There is a chance the team will try a few different combinations in those matches to ensure they have covered as many bases as possible.

Australia is not underestimating Bangladesh. In the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup 2022, Australia faced a tense situation, while chasing 136, until Mooney rescued them from a potential upset.

In 2023, Bangladesh’s one-off victories against India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and South Africa highlight their rapid development as a team. Australia acknowledges the challenge ahead, fully aware of Bangladesh’s ability to pose unique obstacles, especially in familiar conditions. Adapting to the pitches and their style of play will be crucial.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh tour concludes a hectic season for Australia, including matches against West Indies and South Africa at home, with a visit to India in between. Many players also participated in the WPL and will proceed directly to Bangladesh.

Nitschke observed, “It’s the end of what’s been a long season. That will be our challenge, and at some point, people will have to dig a little bit deeper. They’ll have to help out their mates as well. If we can do that it puts us in really good stead for the future, to find something else when you feel like you are empty.”

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