CommBank Women's Ashes - Test
Healy shifts focus with Baggy Green safely in hand
Australia's wicketkeeper-batter is looking forward to some more time out in the middle as she prepares for the increased workload that comes with the longer format
Laura Jolly in Adelaide
24 January 2022, 11:00 AM AEST
Alyssa Healy forgot her Baggy Green when she left for Australia's Ashes campaign, but it should not be construed as a lack of enthusiasm for the format.
Rather, Healy is itching to take up the attack to England's new-ball quicks, after being denied her chance during back-to-back T20I washouts at the weekend.
"Good news, the Baggy Green has arrived," Healy, who left the prized possession in her cupboard at home but was reunited with it when husband Mitch Starc joined her in Adelaide, said on Sunday.
"It's tucked away nicely in my bag that's being shipped off to Canberra so that's a massive win.
"I'm really looking forward to the Test match, we've never had the opportunity to play two in one summer before, so getting that opportunity is going to be really exciting."
Healy had a lacklustre Weber WBBL campaign with the bat, hitting 213 runs at 19 from 13 innings for the Sydney Sixers and later revealing she had been struggling with an elbow complaint throughout the tournament.
Now back to full fitness, and after smacking an unbeaten 99 in a warm-up game before being dismissed for seven in the only T20I that was not a washout, the 31-year-old is eager to spend more in the middle.
"I'm actually a little quietly excited about the opportunity for some longer format cricket, the Test match and then the one-dayers is leading into a World Cup," she continued.
"I feel like everything's back where it should be for me at the crease.
"It may or may have not looked like it in the first T20 but I feel like I'm in a really good place with my batting again.
"I'm really excited for the opportunity to just spend a bit of time out in the middle and hopefully get my team in into a really good position to win, whether it be a Test match or a one-dayer."
Healy expects to open the batting at Manuka Oval, having done so in Australia's last two Test matches – against England in 2019 and against India earlier this summer.
She is not yet sure whether she will be joined by one-day opening partner Rachael Haynes or her T20 counterpart Beth Mooney for the four-day game, but she is confident she can continue managing the massive load of wicketkeeping and opening the batting in a Test match.
"It hasn't really come up in discussion that I wouldn't be (opening) so I'm going to go with the assumption that I'm still doing that job," she said.
"There's ongoing chats about (keeping and opening), the approach we took in that last Test match we played was 'we'll see how we go'.
"If things don't quite go to plan, or we're out in the field for an extended period of time, and I am feeling fatigued, then we make that call on the fly and maybe I don't open the batting.
"But I'm always going to stick my hand up and say I'm ready to go and ready to contribute, whether that be at the top of the order or with the gloves, so I'm sure it'll be okay."
Australia and England have just two days and two training sessions to prepare for a format they rarely play.
But Healy backed in Australia's recent approach, which has been to approach it as they would a one-day international, rather than getting bogged down in thinking they need to completely change-up their tactics for a one-off Test.
"We don't we don't play a lot of them, so we can't exactly go in there with this great Test match mindset," she explained.
"We still want to keep the scoreboard ticking over where we can, you're going to face little periods of time which are going to be really challenging - I look at (India fast bowler) Jhulan Goswami's spell early in the summer against us, the other girls weathered that and then cashed in at the back end.
"We just approach it the only way we know how and that's playing some really good one-day cricket, just with a little more patience and with a little more time to showcase your skills.
"We want a result in these Test matches as well and I think the only way we're going to be able to force one is by playing aggressive cricket."
Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes v England
Australia Ashes squad: Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Rachael Haynes (vc), Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland
England Ashes squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Maia Bouchier, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Nat Sciver (vc), Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt
Australia lead the multi-format series 4-2
Jan 20: Australia won by nine wickets
Jan 22: No Result
Jan 27-30: Test match, Manuka Oval, 10am AEDT,