CommBank ODI Series v Sri Lanka
Ton of fun: 'Happy' Jonassen closes in on rare milestone
Three wickets shy of a feat only three Australians have achieved, Jess Jonassen admits a recent setback helped kick her into gear
Emily Collin in Brisbane
6 October 2019, 09:49 PM AEST
"Try and keep that happy, positive mentality out in the field – and the performances generally come with it."
It may have taken some time, but Australia spinner Jess Jonassen has unearthed the perfect formula to bring out her best brand of cricket and is starting to reap the rewards.
On Monday, the Queenslander will stride onto her home turf at Allan Border Field just three wickets shy of her hundredth ODI scalp, a feat only three Australian women have achieved.
Should she reach the mark in this series, she'll be the second quickest woman to the milestone.
Just under a year ago now - Jonassen was resigned to carrying drinks for her teammates during Australia’s triumphant T20 World Cup campaign in the Caribbean.
After an innocuous knee injury at training forced the left-armer to undergo surgery, Jonassen – while forcing her way back into Australia’s World Cup squad – was unable to crack the best XI throughout the tournament.
A chance for Jess Jonassen to notch a ton of ODI wickets in her hometown! #AUSvSL pic.twitter.com/xssQzRoVtX— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) October 6, 2019
"It probably takes some moments like that," Jonassen recalls of the setback.
"A little bit of disappointment to kick you back into gear and make you realise exactly what’s important and how badly you do want to be in this team."
The new gear was found, and Jonassen has reversed her fortunes in stunning fashion.
"I’m really enjoying my cricket at the moment," Jonassen told cricket.com.au on the eve of Australia’s second one-dayer against Sri Lanka.
"Throughout your career, you sort of ebb and flow through different periods.
"I think I’ve rediscovered that love of the game, and I’ve got a really good balance in my life at the moment which allows me to have that.
"I think the way I’m able to do that is by having fun, relaxing and enjoying myself out there.
"As soon as I start to think too far ahead or get too tense then everything goes out the window."
On the back of her 2-17 in Australia’ series-opening win against Sri Lanka on Saturday, three more scalps to Jonassen would see her join current teammate Ellyse Perry (151 wickets), as well as former legends of Australian cricket Cathryn Fitzpatrick (180) and Lisa Sthaleker (146) to take 100 ODI wickets.
It’s a club Jonassen never thought she’d have the chance to be a part of. But now it’s in sight – she’s desperate to make it happen in her hometown.
"It would be pretty special, joining a pretty elite club there," Jonassen said.
"I know Pez (Ellyse Perry) not long ago got 150 wickets.
"It’s something I never actually dreamed would ever happen.
"To be so close, hopefully I can get three wickets over the next two games so I can bring that milestone up here at home."
Love the way you go about your business, @JJonassen21 🙌🤩 #WatchMe #AUSvSL pic.twitter.com/LSBoHLGriG— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) October 6, 2019
Jonassen’s return to full fitness after her bittersweet 2018 T20 World Cup couldn’t have been scripted much better.
In January, the proud Queenslander lifted the WBBL|04 trophy with her Brisbane Heat teammates for the very first time.
Not long after that, Jonassen made her return in green and gold, and was named player-of-the-series in Australia’s ODI whitewash against New Zealand.
Jonassen remains an important cog in Australia’s highly effective bowling unit. This year alone the 26-year-old has picked up 32 wickets across all formats.
"There’s a fair bit of work that goes into it," Jonassen explained of the Australian bowlers’ success.
"The bowling unit sort of splits in two in a way, and we have our little spin trio.
"We sort of bounce ideas off each other all the time.
"As a spinner, it’s also nice to have (assistant coach) Shelley Nitschke there as well.
"Obviously she’s played a lot of games for Australia and has a wealth of knowledge in her back pocket as well.
"To be able to learn off her continuously and learn off each other is something we’ve done really well as a group over the last few years.
"We’re really enjoying our time, not only on the field but also off it. The banter and laughs we have translates into some good performances out on the field.”
CommBank Series v Sri Lanka
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Erin Burns (T20I only), Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Heather Graham, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
Sri Lanka T20I squad: Chamari Atapattu (c), Harshitha Madavi, Shashikala Siriwardena, Anushka Sanjeewani, Hansima Karunaratne, Yashoda Mendis, Nilakshi De Silva, Dilani Manodara, Oshadhi Ranasinghe, Inoka Ranaweera, Sugandhika Kumari, Inoshi Fernando, Achini Kulasooriya, Udeshika Probodhani, Ama Kanchana.
First T20I: Australia won by 41 runs
Second T20I: Australia won by 9 wickets
Third T20I: Australia won by 132 runs
First ODI: Australia won by 157 runs
Second ODI: October 7, Allan Border Field, Brisbane, 10.10am
*All ODIs are ICC Women's Championship matches