Rachael Haynes ruled out of rest of India series due to hamstring injury
Australia opener and vice-captain Rachael Haynes is ruled out of the upcoming day-night Test match and the T20I series against India due to a hamstring injury she picked during the third ODI on Sunday (September 26). Cricket.com.au has also reported that Alyssa Healy will serve as Meg Lanning’s deputy for the rest of the series.
Matthew Mott, the Australia head coach, said that it was unfortunate that Haynes would not be ready for the Test match. “She’s devastated, obviously. Test matches don’t come around too often. She’s a key member of our squad, so our thoughts are with her at the moment,” said Mott to Cricketcomau in a media interaction at Metricon Stadium on Tuesday (September 28).
Haynes’ absence means that Beth Mooney could be promoted to open the batting as she did in the second ODI, taking Australia to a thrilling victory in a last-over finish.
However, Australia might hand out a Test debut for Georgia Redmayne, who is included in the squad as a reserve opener. Redmayne had led Queensland to WNCL 2020-21 title earlier this year, scoring 531 runs in eight innings at an average of 132.75.
Mooney, on the other hand, last played red-ball cricket in the Ashes Test at Taunton in July 2019. She scored 76 runs in the match, including a half-century. If Mooney was promoted to open at batting, Redmayne could bat in the middle-order, or Australia might play an extra allrounder in Tahlia McGrath or Annabel Sutherland.
Mott also said that leg-spinner Georgia Redmayne, who suffered a quad injury while fielding in the final ODI, is ticking all the boxes to get back in action. “She was very sensible around that – she felt something quite early, got treatment and has been doing everything she can to get it right.”
“She’s a key member. No matter what the wicket serves up, she’s a wicket-taker. She’s an incredibly good thing for this team – she leads the way in the field, and her batting is evolving all the time. So, hopefully, she gets the opportunity – she’s done everything in her powers to be ready.”
On playing a Test match after two years, Mott said that the key for them is not to outthink themselves. “We are still going to be in a contest. We know India have bolstered their pace bowling and have asked a lot of questions, particularly, with the new ball. It is a fantastic challenge for our opening batters to try and get through that.”
“Ellyse Perry spoke about how she constructed her innings. It varies so much and I think, that is what makes it intriguing, the pink-ball Test. There are certain lows in the game and you have to hold as a bowling group, shut the scoreboard down. When you get the opportunity to attack, you have to make sure to get as many balls in the right areas. For me, that is what makes it such an interesting contest. You might think it is meandering along at some point, and then wickets can fall in a cluster and open the game right up.”
Mott was excited to see grass on the pitch for the Test match, adding, ” let’s see what it looks like in a couple of days time. But also there is talk about a bit of rain around, potentially sweating under the covers. You just have to be adaptable. I think that’s what we found in the last game. We know we didn’t win the game, but the quicks coming in the middle overs just hit some hard lengths was very effective. That’s what I really loved about this series for us. It’s given us a new dimension. I think we have relied heavily on some world-class bowlers over the last couple of years, but these young quicks have come in and thrown in a different perspective.”
He said that they want to treat the Test match as an extended One-Day game. “We have talked a lot about the need to take 20 wickets. It’s the same as a one-day game where we try to take ten wickets when we bowl.”
“With our batting, we try and bat at a really good tempo. Each player knows their role and plays within their parameters. I think it’s pretty much the way we are going to play. It’s just going to be an extended version of that. Looking at the way India is set up, I don’t think they will be any different. I think their batting unit is quite aggressive, going to come out and play some shots. I do think that it’s going to be a pretty open Test match. Whoever wins those key moments throughout, and try and get those invaluable 20 wickets is going to come out on top.”