CommBank Series v India - ODIs
Healy looks to India star for key to all-format dominance
Alyssa Healy is determined to take her white-ball form to the longest format when she reprises her role at the top of Australia's Test order
15 September 2021, 02:22 PM AEST
Alyssa Healy will look to one of the game’s most effective all-format openers as she seeks to carry her limited-overs form into Test cricket against India later this month.
Healy has been a force at the top of the order for Australia in white-ball cricket in recent years, playing a major role in Australia’s twin T20I World Cup victories in 2018 and 2020 as well as their ongoing 24-game winning streak in ODIs.
With Australia to play a rare Test match against India on the Gold Coast from September 30 – the first between the sides in 15 years – the challenge is to now continue that dominance against the pink ball at an unknown venue.
Despite playing for her country for more than a decade, the 30-year-old has featured in just four Tests, due to the rarity of long-form women’s international games.
Neither team has ever played at Metricon Stadium, and the condensed schedule means they will have just two training sessions to adjust to the conditions before the day-night Test gets underway.
"It's a tricky one because I've only played four Tests so I wouldn't say I'm overly comfortable with how to play or how to approach a Test," Healy said at a Fox Cricket launch on Wednesday.
"I look at the modern Test game and see how it's changed quite a lot.
"I watch a lot of the men's cricket and I look at someone like Rohit Sharma who is one of the most devastating white-ball batters in the world and yet he's a really successful opener in Test cricket.
"So for me, I said look at somebody like him and think about how he translates those skills across all the formats, could I potentially replicate that somehow?"
Healy was elevated to the top of the order for Australia’s most recent Test against England in Taunton in 2019, with the move paying off as she scored her maiden Test fifty.
She is expected to occupy the same position against India – mostly likely joined by one-day opening partner Rachael Haynes.
"From my point of view, I don't think it's going to change too much from my one-day international batting," Healy said.
"I think the ability to give yourself more time is such a blessing."
Healy debuted for Australia in 2010 but did not score her first international century until their tour of India in 2018.
That breakthrough ODI innings of 133 in Baroda sparked a staggering shift for the wicketkeeper-batter; prior to that match she had averaged 17.53 in T20Is and 19.36 in ODIs, and since then she has averaged 34.1 in T20Is and 58.57 in one-dayers, scoring another three centuries.
The last time she played against India was in the T20 World Cup final in March last year, when she was named player of the match for a stunning 39-ball 75 in front of 86,174 fans at the MCG.
"I do have some good memories playing against India, I’ve got some not-so-great memories as well … I’ve got confidence, and my cricket has changed a lot since that hundred that I finally made," Healy said.
"But (India) have changed a lot since then as well and they just keep throwing new things at us that we haven't seen, so I've no doubt they're going to do that again.
"I’m really looking forward to (this series), it’s been a long time since we've played competitive cricket."
Australia will play an intra-squad warm-up match in Brisbane on Thursday, before meeting India in a practice match on Saturday.
Healy said she was relishing the return of the ‘Sharks v Dolphins’ intra-squad rivalry, something that has become an Australian team tradition.
"It’s one of the most competitive games of cricket that you'll ever play," she said.
"I don’t think it can be replicated even in international cricket, the rivalry that happens there.
"We had to pick our sides yesterday, there’s a few core Dolphins players, myself, Meg Lanning, Molly Strano, who have been around since day dot … we absolutely thrive on those contests."
CommBank Series v India
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Maitlan Brown, Stella Campbell, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Georgia Redmayne, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
India Test and ODI squad: Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Shikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh, Ekta Bisht.
India T20I squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Shikha Pandey, Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh (wk), Harleen Deol, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Renuka Singh.
Sep 30 – Oct 3: Test match, Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast (D/N)