India series an opportunity for younger players, says Meg Lanning
Australia skipper Meg Lanning believes the series will be an opportunity for young players like Darcie Brown and Stella Campbell to ‘share the load’ in the absence of Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen. Speaking to the media ahead of the first ODI of the multi-format series against India, Lanning said she is excited to see how the young players perform in the series.
“It’s just a great opportunity for our squad to share the load and see some new players in action,” she said. “We saw Stella Campbell and Darcie Brown the other day coming and bowl really well. It’s nice to see them getting opportunities. We would love to have Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen in the squad, but it does open an opportunity for some younger players.”
Campbell, the 19-year-old fast bowler from New South Wales, was impressive in the practice match as she took three key Indian wickets, including Shafali Verma. Given the potential workload management issues around the fast bowling unit in the absence of Tayla Vlaeminck, Campbell might get an opportunity to feature in the ODIs. Lanning said Campbell is certainly ‘in the mix’ for the debut.
“We are still discussing as to what an exact final XI will be, but she is certainly in the mix. We feel like the 18 players that we have got are all able to come and play the role. It’s a busy schedule, and there are lots of games in a short period of time, so there certainly will be opportunities there,” Lanning added.
The two sides have faced each other on multiple occasions in recent times, including the T20 World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in March last year. Heading into the fresh series, Lanning believes both teams have evolved since the last time they faced each other.
“I think, it’s pretty even heading into this series. It has been a long time since we played them. Both teams have evolved a lot over that period of time. We haven’t played much cricket at all of late. They have played a little bit. So, it’s about settling into the series and getting used to playing again,” she said.
India did not play Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemimah Rodrigues, and Shikha Pandey in the practice match. India’s captain Mithali Raj explained the reason behind it as giving “an opportunity for other players to get a feel of the environment.” When asked about potential match-ups with the new players on the Indian side Lanning said the tour is going to present challenges to Australia to try and come on top.
“We have seen a little bit of some of their senior players in the past, so we know what we are in for. It’s going to be a great challenge for us. They are a really good side with a really good depth and some world-class players. We have got some good plans in place, but it is about executing on the day and making sure we are ready to adapt if we need to,” Lanning concluded.
Viewers in India can catch all the matches of India’s tour of Australia live on Sony Six and Sony Six HD. The matches will also be live streamed on the Sony Liv website and app.