Matthew Mott lauds Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy for their leadership roles

Women's CricZone Staff
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Invincible Australia whitewash New Zealand with a record-equalling victory

Australia women created a world record by with 21 consecutive ODI wins. © Getty Images

thumped New Zealand by 232 runs in the third ODI at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane to take the Rose Bowl series 3-0 on Wednesday (October 7). Notably, they were without their two of the most experienced players in Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry.

Matthew Mott, head coach of Australia, lauded senior players Rachael Haynes and Alyssa Healy for taking up the leadership mantle in the absence of skipper Lanning to help the team equal the world record set by the Ricky Ponting-led Australian men's side in 2003.

Stand-in skipper Haynes and Healy shared an opening partnership of 144 to set the foundation for Australia's mammoth total of 325 in the first innings. Even though both failed to reach the three-figure mark, they inspired the side to put on one of their most dominant performances, routing the visitors with a remarkable allround display.

Haynes, who has enjoyed a fruitful 12-15 months was fittingly crowned player of the series for her tally of 22 runs at an average of 74.

ALSO READ: Rachael Haynes – the understated superstar in Australia’s top order

“Rachael Haynes, once again, she often doesn't get the headlines but she's like the drummer in the band and is such a great leader behind the scenes,” Mott told SEN Radio. “She stepped up to captain and it was seamless. We've got a number of key contributors and that's the pleasing aspect; it's not down to just one or two.”

This was the first time Australia played with a team that didn’t feature either Lanning or Perry in the XI, since the regular skipper’s debut in 2011. With the record on the line, Mott said it was the experienced Healy who motivated the squad and talked about taking their absence as an opportunity for others to step up.

"I'd give Alyssa Healy great credit for that. She spoke in our team meeting the day before and said you can look at this as a challenge without two of our best players, part of the engine room over the last decade, or you can look at it as an opportunity and that really motivated a few people to step up.”

The coach also said Lanning, who played two unbeaten match-winning knocks in the first two games including a magnificent century in the second match, was disappointed about missing out on the opportunity to add on to her efforts, but was happy with how the team performed.

ALSO READ: All hail Meg the Mighty!

"I spoke to her afterwards, and she said 'of all the times to do it, I feel in complete control with the bat and it doesn't often get like that' so she was missing out on the batting more than anything. She just wanted to finish off in the style. In a funny sort of way, though, I think Meg enjoyed sitting back and watching the team play so well," he said.

Mott, who has been coaching the side since 2015, also praised different players for stepping up at different times during their record-equalling journey that began in March 2018.

"Even in that run we were under the pump in England, Delissa Kimmince and Jess Jonassen got us over the line in a tight one. At different times everyone has stepped up and that's how you can sustain success over a long period," he added.

"We had a few injuries, new players came in, none more so than a young Tahlia McGrath who comes in yesterday and whacks them at the end. just shows what depth we had on the bench. The competition for spots, it's hard to get into that team and the amount of good players we had sitting on the sidelines just shows that, hopefully, we can keep this going for some time."

ALSO READ: Alyssa Healy - the tame beast who became audacious

However, Mott is concerned about the players’ work load as they prepare to join their respective clubs for the sixth season of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) starting on October 25. There will be 59 matches during the one-and-a-half-month-long tournament played under bio-secure protocols in Sydney hub.

"There's some tired and sore bodies, as you saw with us and Kiwis, they picked up a few injuries, so we'll really need to monitor them well. In another hub there will be some physical and mental challenges for all our players. In the short-term it feels a bit weird, feels like we've already had our international summer then it goes into domestic cricket.”

“We'd love to be playing more but the WBBL is an incredibly powerful machine that can try and attract young females into the game, so that's an important phase in the next couple of months,” Mott concluded.