Role reversal pays off for Mooney

Opener credits discarding the gloves for helping her rapid rise to the top of Australia's batting order

A shrewd change of plans has worked wonders for Beth Mooney and helped her cement a spot in the Australian line-up as an opening batter over the past 12 months.

Formerly a wicketkeeper-batter for both Queensland and Brisbane Heat in domestic cricket, Mooney made a conscious decision to leave the gloves behind a few years ago in pursuit of a national call-up.

Quick Single: Women's World Cup down to four

Not only has that shift helped her achieve her goal of international cricket, it has seen her become an important cog in the Australian side as they have inched closer to a seventh World Cup title.

And Mooney says her performance in the Women’s Big Bash League last summer, where she was crowned Player of the Tournament having scored 482 runs at an average of 43.8, has given her plenty of confidence heading into her first major international event.

Mooney in her former life as a wicketkeeper // Getty
Mooney in her former life as a wicketkeeper // Getty

"I’ve been really fortunate and have had a lot of opportunities and a lot of faith given in me by the selectors.

"The WBBL has really helped with (earning selection). We play against some world class players that we play against in the World Cup, so we can take a lot of confidence into tournaments like this knowing you’ve played well against the best in the world."

Mooney's opening partnership with Nicole Bolton has been a highlight of Australia's World Cup campaign so far, the left-handed pair consistently laying a solid platform for batting superstars Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry to launch from.

The 24-year-old has notched scores of 70, 0, 32, 0, 31, 45 and 53 in seven matches as the Aussies cruised into the final four of the tournament.

"It’s been really nice to put a few good performances on the board and just settle myself into international cricket," she said.

"It’s a bit daunting coming in and not knowing whether you’re good enough, but the last 12 months have been nice to consistently perform.

Australia still chasing perfect game: Mooney

Australia have won seven of their past eight encounters against India, their semi-final opponents, but the subcontinental side will have a small advantage on Thursday having played four group matches at the same County Ground in Derby while Australia are yet to play there in the tournament.

India's potent top order looms as a massive test for Australia's bowlers, given each of their top three have scored a century in the tournament and the dangerous Harmanpreet Kaur features at No.4.

But Mooney says Australia's tactics won't change too much despite India's batting power.

"I think India are a very challenging side to play against, some days they can take the game on and have some match-winning players in their side as well," she said.

"Our plans never really change regardless of who we are playing against.

"We are always looking to take early wickets and get the other team on the back foot. Hopefully we can see the bowlers fire up on Thursday, and we get a couple of early poles.

"I definitely think the momentum is building nicely towards the semi-final. We’ve done a lot of preparation in Australia and it’s obviously been a long tournament so far so hopefully in the next couple of days we can fine tune everything that we’ve been working on and roll into the semi-final ready to go."

The winner of Thursday night's semi-final will advance to the decider at Lord's on Sunday to face the winner of Tuesday's semi between England and South Africa.

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Australia World Cup squad: Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell (vc), Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington.

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