AUSTRALIA CRICKET NEWS
Cricbuzz Staff •
Australia have not lost an ODI series since the start of 2018. © Getty
Unlike their men’s team – which has had to endure several lows in the last one year – Australia women have plenty to cheer as Meg Lanning’s Southern Stars clean swept three successive ODI series against India, Pakistan and New Zealand respectively. To put the icing on the cake, they had also claimed the bragging rights by sealing the World T20 title late last year in the Carribean.
The latest series against New Zealand, which Australia won 3-0, rounded off what has been a ‘pretty satisfying summer’ according to the skipper. “It has been a pretty satisfying summer and something we will look back on and will be really proud of,” Lanning said. “I guess looking back at the T20 series we played against New Zealand in September and to think about how it’s all panned out is pretty incredible really. The big World Cup win in the middle of that. It’s been really busy and has taken a lot of effort to get through.”
Australia will now enjoy a four-month break before they rev up the preparations for the Ashes which is set to commence in the first week of July. “We were really keen today to make sure that we finish off on a really good note because we didn’t want into head into a break with the last game being a loss. It’s nice to be able to tick that off and there are also few exhausted players at the moment and the coaching staff to be honest. They have really put in a lot of effort to help us to be able to do the job that we do. So, as a collective, we are ready for a few days off,” she said.
“The good thing is the Ashes series is the first to we are going. So we can sort of specialise our training to what we need to do. I’m sure the medical staff and the coaching staff will make sure that hopefully, we have got a big group of players to pick from especially in the bowling department. We got some exciting players coming through and hopefully by the time we do get to that Test match we’ve got a few to pick from and it’s a difficult selection”
The 26-year old credited the pre-season preparations to be able to get through a long summer and also noted the significance of workload in international cricket. “Next year, it’s probably busier than what this year was. So, we are gonna get used to it and I think generally everyone’s coped pretty well with the demands that we’ve been put under and guess that’s the way international cricket is going. So much more cricket which is really exciting and we wanna be a part of it. I guess moving forward, it’s just about managing ourselves and working with the coaching staff as well to try and get the best out of ourselves but that’s why we’ve put in all the hard work preseason to make sure we are ready to go to be able to compete for long periods and I think we have shown this summer that we are up to it and we are gonna have to do that again next summer.
“I think we are starting to see the real impact of professional training and the fact that we are able to do that full time I think makes a big difference and initially it probably didn’t seem like it and the gap is there I guess now having been so successful throughout this summer. We have just been able to continue to play really good cricket consistently and that’s probably difficult to do if you are not doing it full time. So, hopefully, other countries around the world continue to improve their programs and give people more opportunities. New Zealand are very competitive. We love playing against them, hopefully, down the track, we can see some really good series coming up as well.”
Lanning was particularly upbeat about the collective performance of her team and lauded the bowling efforts and the transition of younger players. “We had four players get pretty close to a fifty today and I guess you would love someone to make a big score but if that’s not gonna happen then you want even contribution. So, I think our bowling unit throughout the whole summer has shown really good variety and different people have been able to step up different times and there have been younger players as well which is probably the most pleasing thing is we have been able to bring some new players into our squad and they fitted in seamlessly and really looked comfortable at this level. So, we feel like our squad is in a good spot to keep getting better. We are not relying on one or two people now which I think is a real strength of ours.”