Cricbuzz Staff •
(That includes) taking the pace off the ball earlier, being more bold and aggressive with those changes of pace, and you can see the dividends paid off in India. ” © Getty
Megan Schutt’s position as the No. 1 ranked T20I bowler is a reflection of her skills and adaptability, feels head coach Matthew Mott who says the 25-year-old Australian pacer is a benchmark for Twenty20 bowlers around the world. Despite conditions primarily in favour of the batters during the T20I tri-series in India, which also involved England, that Schutt was able to finish as the top wicket-taker in the series with nine wickets and maintain an economy rate of 6.28 was due to plenty of hard work over the year, said the coach.
Speaking to cricket.com.au. on the sidelines of a bowling camp at the National Cricket Centre, Mott said: “I think she’s the almost the benchmark for bowlers around the world and that shows in the world rankings. She was challenged a lot by the way the batters have came at her over the last year or so and she’s been prepared to take a step back, analyse the game and work out some options.
“(That includes) taking the pace off the ball earlier, being more bold and aggressive with those changes of pace, and you can see the dividends paid off in India. Teams are aware of her and it will be interesting to see if they come harder at her now, or look to see her off.”
Mott also spoke about the importance of constantly trying to improve the skillset as a bowler in order and stay a step ahead of the batters in a game dominated by the latter. “We improved last series in terms of when teams were coming hard at us, that we were able to just absorb that pressure a bit. One thing you can’t have is to just let it all go. We know batters are going hit boundaries and they’ve got power and there’s only four fielders out, so it’s difficult.
“You can’t hedge your bets as a bowling group, but there are certainly ways you can try and get ahead of the batter and get them guessing a bit more. I don’t want to give too many secrets away but that’s certainly something our bowling group has researched quite diligently and we’re looking forward to practising here before taking it overseas,” he added.
The current bowling camp is part of Australia’s preparation for the World T20 that will be held in Caribbean in November. Before that, they play a three-match T20I series against New Zealand in September-October – a series that Mott feels will be the ideal testing ground for Australia ahead of the world event, considering the strength of the opposition. “It’s a big opportunity against very, very strong opposition to see if our plans are going to work. It’s going to be really important that we get that right against New Zealand.”