Harris shakes off 'pad rash' to nail resilience test

Captain Alyssa Healy reveals the reasoning behind Australia's batting order shake up in the second T20I win over Bangladesh

Grace Harris feared she would return home from Bangladesh with a severe case of "pad rash", and the Australia allrounder was only too happy to grab her shot at the top of the order in the second T20I.

But Harris, who hit 47 opening the batting with Phoebe Litchfield on Tuesday, is under no illusions of keeping the role on a permanent basis – not yet, anyway.

Rather, she explained, it was a conscious effort from coach Shelley Nitschke to prepare her entire squad for any unexpected hurdles in this year's T20 World Cup, also to be played in Bangladesh.

So too was the decision to give Georgia Wareham, who is considered an allrounder but typically bats at No.8, a shot at first drop, which the Victorian seized as she plundered a career-best 57 from 30 balls.  

Australia's regular openers Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy dropped down to No.9 and No.10 respectively on Tuesday, with the former facing the final ball of the innings and the latter not required.

Georgia Wareham made the most of her promotion up the order // Getty

Harris, who typically slots in at No.7 in the T20 side, sat out the first two ODIs, and was not required to bat in the third, or during Australia's 10-wicket victory in the first T20I.

"(Mooney and Healy) are definitely our openers ... they've been very successful for a long period of time and will continue to be," Harris explained to media after the game.

"But if anything did happen in a competition moving forward, if one of them got injured or something, then Shelley Nitschke and the coaching staff might have to think about reshuffling the order.

"It was more looking towards the future, if anything happens, then it's better to get a game out now rather than (doing it for the first time) in a World Cup final, for instance.

"I think Shell just wanted to test our resilience and see how adaptable we are as well.

"I was just really thankful for an opportunity to bat, because no disrespect to Bangladesh, but with how well our Australian team play in T20 cricket, I did think I'd just get a lot of pad rash coming over here."

With the T20I series already won, Australia have their final chance to adapt to the Bangladesh conditions in Thursday's third T20I.

Asked if any more left-field tactics would be tested, Healy was keeping her cards close to her chest.

"You'd have to ask our selectors and see what sort of line-up they'll give us, but I thoroughly enjoyed batting at No.10 today," Healy said after the game.

"We're just looking at a few different options that could happen in the World Cup – you never really know what's going to happen injury wise or form-wise as well.

"We're (also) just having a little look at some ways that we can rejig our order and make the most of the depth that we've got. 

"I thought (Harris and Wareham) did an outstanding job today … to be brutally honest we were probably 20 runs short and we lost our way in the middle, but full credit to the girls and the way they started."

CommBank Tour of Bangladesh

First ODI: Australia won by 118 runs

Second ODI: Australia won by six wickets

Third ODI: Australia won by eight wickets

First T20I: Australia won by 10 wickets

Second T20I: Australia won by 58 runs

April 4: Third T20I, Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka (5:00pm AEDT)

Australia squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath (vc), Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Tayla Vlaeminck

Bangladesh squad: Nigar Sultana (c), Nahida Akter (vc), Fargana Hoque, Murshida Khatun, Sobhana Mostary, Shorna Akter, Ritu Moni, Sultana Khatun, Fahima Khatun, Marufa Akter, Disha Biswas, Sumaiya Akter, Nishita Akter Nishi, Farzana Akter, Rabeya Khan