(Australian Associated Press)
Moments after destroying Sri Lanka in a one-sided contest, Australia’s all-conquering women’s cricket team are already focused on defending their T20 World Cup title late in the summer.
Australia crushed the Asian visitors by nine wickets to go 2-0 up in the three-match series with a third tie still to come on Wednesday, but a cleansweep is only a small incentive with a bigger picture in mind.
Wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy says the world champions are not satisfied, with February’s World Cup in mind.
“We have had some really good discussions about what are the areas that we can further improve on and I think that reflects on the maturity of the squad,” said Healy.
“We are never satisfied and want to keep pushing the standard higher and higher … everyone is going to be in really good nick come February.
“Every single person in this squad can contribute at any time, and I think there are another eight or nine players outside the current squad putting their hand up and wanting selection for the T20 World Cup.”
Australia secured the lop-sided victory over Sri Lanka on Monday at North Sydney Oval, after a first-up 41-run win 24 hours earlier.
Meg Lanning’s team gave little away with the ball and effected two classy run outs to limit the visitors to a modest 8-84 off their allotted overs, before replying with 1-87 with 10.2 overs spare.
This was in sharp contrast to Sunday when Sri Lankan captain Chamari Atapattu struck a dazzling century.
This time she was dismissed for 16 off 25 balls.
“We spoke at length in our team meeting about how we were going to bowl at their batters and some of the things we could do differently, and we executed that really well,” Healy said.
“We adjusted our lengths so she (Atapattu) couldn’t get under the ball.
“Our fielding hasn’t been up to scratch in the past few series, but we had a really good performance in that facet of the game. That is when we know we are playing our best.”
Healy was making her 100th T20 appearance, becoming only the second Australian after Ellyse Perry to reach the milestone.
“Ninety-nine games ago I would have said I wouldn’t have played 100.”