Alyssa Healy aims to replicate Rohit Sharma’s success in Test cricket

Alyssa Healy © Getty Images

Ahead of the upcoming multi-format series against India, Australia opener Alyssa Healy has said that she would not have to change her game much from how she plays in the 50-over format to do well in Test cricket.

Speaking at the series-launch event at Fox Cricket, Healy said Test cricket is tricky, but she is confident of adapting well to the longer format. “I’ve only played four Tests. So, I wouldn’t say I’m overly comfortable with how to play or how to approach a Test,” she said on Wednesday (September 15). 

“From my point of view, I don’t think it’s going to change too much from my one-day international batting. I think the ability to give yourself more time is such a blessing.”

Healy, who had a torrid run in ODI cricket till the 2017 ODI World Cup, is currently one of the most dangerous opening batters in the world. Since then, she has scored 1432 runs in 27 matches, averaging 55.07, striking at 106.86. The 31-year-old was struggling in the middle-order earlier, but her game has gone only upwards since she started opening the batting consistently, just like the Indian men’s cricketer Rohit Sharma.

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As she did in the limited-overs format, Healy is keen to turn it around in Test cricket by taking a leaf out of Sharma’s second innings as an opener in red-ball cricket. He was the leading run-scorer for India in the recent Test series against England that was cut short due to the COVID outbreak and has been in top form since he started opening in 2019.

“I look at the modern Test game and see how it’s changed quite a lot. I watch a lot of the men’s cricket and look at someone like Rohit Sharma, who’s one of the most devastating white-ball batters in the world. Yet, he’s a really successful opener in Test cricket. So for me, I said, ‘look at somebody like him and think about how he translates those skills across all the formats, could I potentially replicate that somehow?'”

Healy has played only four Tests so far and is thrilled to have the opportunity to play two matches in the upcoming home season – one each against India and England. “I never thought we’d have two Tests in one summer. To be able to play against India and then England in the Ashes is really exciting. My Baggy Green is tucked nicely in my backpack. Hopefully, I can pull it on my head twice (this summer),” she said.

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Her last Test match was in England in 2019, where she opened the batting with Nicole Bolton. Against India, however, either Rachael Haynes or Beth Mooney is likely to walk out with Healy as Bolton is not a part of the squad. Though Georgia Redmayne has an outside chance too, in the absence of Megan Schutt, Australia would be keen to strengthen their bowling by playing an allrounder in the middle-order, pushing Haynes or Mooney to the top.

The wicketkeeper batter said that Test matches are more special for the team as they do not get to play as much as the men do. “It is the pinnacle,” she said, adding, “It’s great that the conversations are being had, and we would love to see a few more nations.”

Healy wishes to see an annual Test cricketing event for the women in Australia like the Boxing Day Test for the men. “Imagine November 1, Australia are (always) playing a pink-ball Test at North Sydney Oval against whatever the opposition might be,” she concluded.