Women's Ashes ODIs
Strong-minded Lanning wants runs on the board
Content with her squad's Ashes preparation so far, Australia skipper Meg Lanning has a burning desire to perform in England after missing the 2017 series
Laura Jolly in Loughborough
26 June 2019, 09:12 AM AEST
Meg Lanning’s had enough of the nets, enough of the drills, enough talking. The Australian captain just wants to do what she does best: hit runs for fun.
There’s still another week until the multi-format women’s Ashes series begins on July 2 in Leicester, but Lanning will have a chance to test herself in English conditions on Wednesday in the first of two warm-up matches against an England Academy team.
After missing the last Ashes in 2017 as she recovered from shoulder surgery, it’s safe the say Australia’s skipper, one of the world’s top-ranked batters, has a burning desire to make up for lost time – something that can only spell trouble for England’s bowlers.
"I’m looking forward to it, it’s been on the radar since that T20 World Cup finished (last November)", Lanning said. "It’s a massive series to be a part of always, I look at the calendar and wonder when the next Ashes is.
"I didn’t particularly enjoy watching last time from the sidelines so I’m pretty eager to get out there and put some good performances on the board."
While Lanning missed the 2017 edition in Australia – when the hosts ensured they retained the trophy as the series ended level on eight points apiece – the Australian captain played a key role in winning back the Ashes on English soil for the first time in 2001.
She struck a century in the second ODI in Bristol and finished as the second leading run-scorer behind Ellyse Perry, averaging 31.12 in a low-scoring series.
Australia had two warm-up games in Brisbane before flying to the United Kingdom, with Lanning unable to fully fire in either.
In the first, she struck three boundaries before falling for a 24-ball 18, in the second, she also scored 18 before she was caught off the bowling of Tahlia McGrath.
Despite going without a major score, Lanning is confident she’s on track for the Ashes.
"I feel like I’ve been hitting the ball well and in the couple of practice games coming up hopefully I can spend some time in the middle," Lanning said.
"I’ve had a really good preparation and I feel like I’ve been able to work on a few things … so I’m just looking forward to some games.
"I’ve had enough of training in the nets, it’s time to get out there and play."
Those “things” Lanning worked on included identifying new scoring areas as she works to become a 360-degree batter.
"It’s about identifying areas of the ground where I don't hit as much," Lanning explained to cricket.com.au before the squad’s departure for England.
"I’m probably more dominant to the offside so it’s just trying to develop that onside stuff and be able to hit powerfully straight, I think it’s really important in our game to be able to do that, so they're probably the two areas that are important to me.
"It’s quite fun to be honest, just a bit of experimenting which is good. You don't get to do that too much."
Australia will meet the England Academy at Loughborough’s Haslegrave Ground on Wednesday from 10.30am local (7.30pm AEST). The 50-over warm-up will be live scored on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app.
CommBank Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
June 26: England Academy v Australia, Loughborough
June 28: England Academy v Australia, Loughborough
July 2: First ODI, Grace Road, Leicester
July 11-13: England Academy v Australia, Marlborough College, Swindon
July 18-21: Only Test, The County Ground, Taunton
July 26: First T20, County Ground, Chelmsford
July 28: Second T20, The County Ground, Hove
A Test victory is worth four points (two each for a draw), two points are awarded for ODI and T20 wins