Australia swing bowler Megan Schutt is in red-hot form after capturing 10 wickets in the three Commonwealth Bank Women’s one-dayers and is now she’s aiming to continue that success with the pink ball.
Schutt rose 13 places to a career-best fourth in the International Cricket Council’s ODI bowling rankings following Australia’s 2-1 win in the ODI component of the multi-format Ashes.
She took 10 wickets at 11.4 with an economy rate of 4.07, including twin four-wicket hauls in Coffs Harbour.
Australia have now turned their attention to the series’ sole Test match, a day-night encounter to be played at North Sydney Oval from November 9-12.
There, Schutt is again expected to play a crucial role with her in-swing and the 24-year-old hopes to find some assistance from the pink ball.
"The pink ball moves a bit,” Schutt told RSN radio on Wednesday.
"We haven’t any games with it yet but we’ve done a few training sessions from that and it swings a fair bit.
"And for me, there’s more of a pronounced seam on the ball – I’ve only got little hands so I’m pretty happy about that."
The Australian Test squad will get their first proper hit out with the pink ball in a three-day warm-up match in Canberra starting Friday.
Schutt wasn’t the only Australian to climb the ICC rankings following the Ashes ODIs. Allrounder Ellyse Perry returned to second spot in the batting charts, while captain Rachael Haynes
jumped 26 spots to reach 42nd after scoring 128 runs in the series.
Aussie opener Alyssa Healy also made gains, climbing from 44th to a career-best 28th spot in the batting rankings courtesy of her back-to-back half-centuries in Coffs Harbour.
However, injured Australia skipper Meg Lanning has surrendered her place at the top of the batting rankings, displaced by India captain Mithali Raj. Lanning is sidelined for 6-8 months following shoulder surgery.
Australia’s 2-1 Ashes ODI victory also saw them claim their first four points in the ICC Women’s Championship, a three-year round-robin competition that determines World Cup qualification.
It was also enough for them to regain top spot in ICC Women’s Team Rankings (LINK TO SAM YARN), wrestling back the mantle from England who had supplanted them at the top of the table early last month.
It’s a psychological win for the hosts ahead of the Test match and captain Haynes said she was pleased to have made a strong start against reigning World Cup winners England.
"It (the win) was obviously pretty important given that the points will contribute to qualifying for the World Cup. To come around, beat England, the World Cup champions 2-1 - we are very happy with that.
"Our bowling has been really outstanding, they have responded really well. We’ve seen some really great partnerships with the bat, Nicole Bolton and Alyssa Healy coming together at the top have done a great job, so overall I think we are in a good place."
Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes
Australia lead England 4-2
Australia squad (ODI and Test): Rachael Haynes (C), Alex Blackwell (VC), Kristen Beams, Nicole Bolton, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa (Test only), Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington.
England squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Nat Sciver, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt.
First ODI Australia won by two wickets
Second ODI Australia won by 75 runs (DLS method)
Third ODI England won by 20 runs (DLS method)
Day-Night Test North Sydney Oval, November 9-12
First T20 North Sydney Oval, November 17
North Sydney Charity Partner: McGrath Foundation
Second T20 Manuka Oval, November 19
Third T20 Manuka Oval, November 21
Canberra Charity Partner: Lord's Taverners ACT