Women's Ashes ODIs
Don't expect a nice Aussie team: Healy
'Keeper-batsman provides a blunt assessment of her planned on-field attitude throughout this summer's Ashes campaign
10 October 2017, 08:19 PM AEST
Australia wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy has fired the opening salvo ahead of the upcoming Women's Ashes, declaring she will "bring the bitch back" behind the stumps this summer.
The Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes gets underway in 12 days in Brisbane, the same city where tensions boiled over four years ago between the men when Australia skipper Michael Clarke infamously warned England quick James Anderson to prepare for a fractured limb.
Anderson, thankfully, escaped injury but the verbal barbs thrown that evening at the Gabba played a crucial part in what would become Australia's second Ashes whitewash inside a decade.
Healy, speaking in Sydney today at the announcement of Australia's Test and ODI squads for the Women's Ashes, offered her own warning, not just to the English but to those expecting a mild-mannered team this summer.
The 27-year-old forecast a cold front by the Australians in the heat of battle, declaring her side will turn up the aggression and the chatter out on the field much like Clarke's side did in 2013-14.
"That's definitely one area that personally I've looked back on the last few years and I think we've let slip," Healy said on The Unplayable Podcast.
"Playing all these domestic competitions around the world has made everyone too nice.
"Everyone plays with one another and is too worried about what everyone thinks.
"I think this Ashes series might see a little bit of a different side of the Australian team, which I think is really cool.
"Personally I vowed to 'bring the bitch back' and hopefully return to my chirpy self behind the stumps and be a pest for the opposition.
"We'll have to see how we go but it's definitely an area we've looked at.
"Don't be prepared for a nice Aussie team, that's for sure."
England enter the multi-format series owning recent bragging rights having beaten Australia in the group stage of the Women's World Cup before going on to claim the title.
England are also the newly crowned No.1 team in the world after the annual ICC rankings update was released this month.
But they don't hold the Women's Ashes, which was won by Australia in 2015 on English soil and Healy has no plans to surrender the trophy.
"The Poms have got their tails up, they're a bit chirpy and rightfully so," she said.
"They played some really good cricket in that World Cup and were deserving winners at the end.
"For us it's just bouncing back and giving it our all to hopefully hold onto the Ashes."
Healy identified three players the Southern Stars must watch out for if they are to have success this summer.
The tandem of Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole have been imperious opening the bowling, while allrounder Nat Sciver impressed Healy with her dominant showing in the World Cup.
"Sciver with the bat was a standout with them," she said.
"She came out of nowhere and knocked together some really strong hundreds against some good opposition.
"She'll definitely be one of the keys with the bat and their new-ball pairing is very damaging and have been so good for them for such a long time.
"For us it's key to blunt that new-ball attack and getting through to those middle overs and cashing in on some of their part-time bowlers."
Healy and the Australia squad heads to Brisbane this week to being preparations for the first one-day international at Allan Border Field on October 22.
The right-hander enters camp with a 66-ball 68 under her belt opening the batting alongside national captain Rachael Haynes for the NSW Lendlease Breakers on Sunday.
While her form with the bat has been "a bit all over the shop", Healy is excited about getting back among the Australian squad and beginning preparations for the Women's Ashes.
"I just really enjoyed being back on the cricket field last weekend for the Breakers," she said.
"My form is slowly getting there. That new ball took a little bit of getting used to but I really enjoyed being back out there with the group.
"I'm looking forward to the next couple of weeks training, that first game in Brisbane and hopefully I can contribute to an Australian win."
Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes
First ODI Allan Border Field, October 22
Brisbane Charity Partner: Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust
Second ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 26
Third ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 29
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