CommBank T20Is v New Zealand
Healy passes Dhoni to set new T20 benchmark
Australia's star wicketkeeper-batter claims the world record for most dismissals behind the stumps
Adam Burnett in Brisbane
27 September 2020, 05:56 PM AEST
Alyssa Healy's reputation as one of the game's finest-ever wicketkeepers received another nod in Brisbane on Sunday, when the Australian passed Indian great MS Dhoni's mark for the most dismissals in Twenty20 international history.
Since her T20I debut in February 2010, Healy has claimed 92 dismissals behind the stumps, made up of 42 catches and 50 stumpings.
"There's a lot of stuff that you do as a wicketkeeper that goes unnoticed," she said after play. "I'm always really content when I come off the field and I've had a good day behind the stumps, and I feel like I had a great day behind the stumps today."
Much like her legendary uncle Ian, Healy's lightning glovework is often matched by the quickness of her wit, with the 'keeper a garrulous presence behind the stumps, the TV mics regularly picking up her quick-witted jibes and encouragement throughout an innings, as it did during Australia's series-sealing win over New Zealand at Allan Border Field today.
Indeed the first adjective a smiling New Zealand captain Sophie Devine used to describe her long-time opponent in the post-match press conference was "talkative".
"It's a fantastic achievement," Devine added. "She's been in the Australian set-up for a long, long time … I think she's grown in confidence with the gloves as well as with the bat, and it probably reflects that in the last couple of years she's been on a real high."
Healy's banter behind the stumps and her willingness to speak her mind could easily make her a polarizing figure at times – a fact she seems comfortable with – though it would be difficult to find any critics of 'Alyssa Healy, Wicketkeeper'.
Long after taking her first catch for her country as a 19-year-old more than a decade ago, Healy has moved confidently to the forefront of Australian cricket, revolutionising her batting in recent years with a refined technique and increased opportunity at the top of the order. Today's blazing cameo of 33 from 17 balls was almost de rigueur for the dashing opener.
It has been a similar if less spectacular evolution with the gloves. Ian Healy often compared the wicketkeeping role to that of the 'drummer in the band'; steadily maintaining the rhythm of an innings while allowing others to play more headline-grabbing parts. True to form, Alyssa was quick to defer credit to others today.
"It's obviously a nice individual accolade, but it reflects better on our bowling attack than myself," she said of the record. "It just shows the strength of the bowling attacks we've had through my entire career (and) it makes me think about all the opportunities that I've missed."
And as with Ian, Alyssa Healy has set the benchmark in the field for an all-conquering Australian side, with missed opportunities few and far between.
Georgia Wareham picks up her third wicket at AB Field! NZ 6-99 after 15: https://t.co/7UuwK2DVHE #AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/2mW8qaTU44— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) September 27, 2020
Today's two dismissals – one a stumping, one a catch – were both somewhat shaded by contentious calls, but that is not Healy's concern; what mattered from Australia's perspective was they were chances seized.
"Being a wicketkeeper, you've got to sometimes create opportunities for your side," she added. "How can I swing the momentum back in our favour, whether that be driving our fielding standards or taking a half-chance that could change the game … that's just part and parcel of being a wicketkeeper."
It has always been thus for Healy, and the 30-year-old's record-breaking moment against the White Ferns speaks not only to her longevity but to that constant state of alertness – whenever there is even a sniff of a chance, she has already pounced.
It is a trait shared by Dhoni and other contemporary masters of the gloves, but for now, in T20I cricket, Healy stands tall above them all.
CommBank T20I and ODI series
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Belinda Vakarewa
New Zealand squad: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Natalie Dodd, Deanna Doughty, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin
All matches to be played at Brisbane's Allan Border Field
First T20: Australia won by 17 runs
Second T20: Australia won by eight wickets
September 30: Third T20, 1:45pm AEST
October 3: First ODI, 10:10am AEST
October 5: Second ODI, 10:10am AEST (11:10 AEDT)
October 7: Third ODI, 10:10am AEST (11:10 AEDT)
Watch live on the Seven Network, Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports