'Calm' Lanning enters rare air after spicy pre-game chat

Meg Lanning’s fiery team talk prior to the T20 World Cup final was praised by teammates post-match as another reason why she is one of world cricket’s best leaders

An unusually fired up Meg Lanning delivered one of her spicier pep talks ahead of Sunday’s T20 World Cup final in Cape Town.

But it is her typically calm and composed nature that makes her one of the all-time great leaders – and sets her apart from others in world cricket – in the eyes of her teammates.

Lanning took an already outstanding leadership resume to unprecedented heights when her team defeated South Africa by 19 runs at Newlands.

Image Id: 522A34D1334444D0BF89DC4CC0493F26 Image Caption: Lanning soaks in the victory //

The 30-year-old has now skippered her country to five titles at ICC tournaments, moving clear of another legendary Australian leader, Ricky Ponting, who captained four.

The 2023 T20 World Cup title has now been added to previous wins in 2014, 2018 and 2020, and the 2022 one-day World Cup victory in New Zealand.

"Her chat before the game was cool, because it was a bit more ampy, there were a few swear words in there and Meg doesn't swear a lot," Megan Schutt revealed after Australia sealed their sixth T20 World Cup title.

"It ended with, 'let's effing go' ... I won't say the actual word, I'll get in trouble, but when she swears, it just makes that oomph.

"But she (generally) just has a calm aura around her, she's played a lot of cricket in her time and been a leader for so long that she knows what people need to succeed, whether that's individually or as a team.

"It rubs off on us, and what we speak about pre-match, is making sure that we hold our calm in the chaos moments because there's a lot of them, especially in T20.

'Pretty darn special': Aussies revel in latest global triumph

"Being calm in those moments means you're probably going to execute better and that's what she presents is calmness."

Lanning was unsure whether she would even be part of this tournament when she walked away from the game last August, let alone whether she would be in charge.

Her return was a welcome one for her teammates and Lanning cut a happy and relaxed figure throughout the World Cup.

Image Id: A00855C20AE447678ECBA55C352B3273 Image Caption: Schutt and Lanning celebrate post-match // Getty

‘Calm’ was also the first descriptor employed by Beth Mooney and coach Shelley Nitschke when asked to reflect on their captain.

"I think she'll go down as one of the greatest leaders, not just in cricket but in sport and just generally as well," Mooney said on Sunday.

"I think she's got an immense cricket brain (and) she's cool, calm and collected under pressure and she's got empathy as well.

"She understands how people feel in certain situations because she's been there before and she's experienced a lot as a person and as a leader and as a cricketer.

"She'll go down as one of the greatest ever for our team and we're very lucky to have her."

Schutt drew a contrast between the Australian captain and one of her counterparts at this tournament when she was asked to reflect on India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s game-turning run-out in the semi-final.

Alyssa Healy had stirred the pot on Australian television on the eve of the final, suggesting the dismissal was more due to the lack of urgency in Kaur’s running rather than the misfortunate of her bat sticking in the pitch.

Kaur’s bizarre run out triggers awesome Aussie comeback

Schutt opted not to enter that particular debate, but when asked what advice she might give to her new Royal Challengers Bangalore teammates about how to win the clutch moments when she arrives in India for the Women’s Premier League later this week, she again pointed to calmness.

"I think it was probably wrong of Harman to throw her bat after (being run out)," she said.

"I think that sets the precedent for the people who are coming in after that.

" I know that she calmed down and then spoke to Deepti (Sharma) after, but the damage was kind of already done in that sense.

"Being able to just compose yourself in that moment (is the key). Unfortunately you have to go through losses to figure that out.

"We don't panic, we don't take it out on each other after a midfield or dropped catch and I think that's where we stand out as a team, we are team first and we know that getting angry isn't going to do anything."

ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2023

Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Alyssa Healy (vc), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

Australia's T20 World Cup 2023 fixtures

Feb 11: beat New Zealand by 97 runs

Feb 14: beat Bangladesh by eight wickets

Feb 16: beat Sri Lanka by 10 wickets

Feb 18: beat South Africa by six wickets


Feb 23: Australia beat India by five runs

Feb 24: South Africa beat England by six runs


Feb 26: Australia beat South Africa by 19 runs