Lanning unfazed by 'favourites' tag

Aussie captain won't rule changes to the playing XI ahead of Sri Lanka clash

Australia skipper Meg Lanning says her team won’t be taking anything for granted despite their commanding victory over West Indies in their opening Women’s World Cup match.

After bowling West Indies out for 204, a 171-run opening stand from Nicole Bolton and Beth Mooney ensured a successful chase was never in doubt.

The emphatic victory, combined with England’s shock first-up loss to India, only strengthens the Australians’ position as outright tournament favourites, but Lanning insists her players cannot afford to rest on their laurels.

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“That’s for others to comment on and worry about,” the Australian captain said. “I don’t think it changes too much for us.

“We know we need to play well every game and we really consistent.

“We’re looking forward to a few challenges coming up, we know it’ll be tough.”

Having waited until the morning of Monday’s match to settle in their final XI, with the decision to play leg-spinner Kristen Beams ahead of pace options Sarah Aley and Belinda Vakarewa paid off when the Victorian claimed 2-26 from nine overs.

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Lanning admitted it would be tough to change a winning line-up for Thursday’s match, but couldn’t rule out a different approach.

“We’ll have to see what the conditions are like in Bristol first,” she said.

“We haven’t been there yet. Obviously we played well today and it’s difficult to change a winning side, but we’ll look at the conditions and the opponent and pick the best team we can.”

“Our spinners have been very successful over the past couple of years for us, so we’re not too fussed about playing an extra spinner as opposed to a seamer.

“But it could change every game or it could stay the same. The great thing about having a squad with such depth is we can bring anyone in and they’ll play a good role.”

Lanning’s services with the bat weren’t called upon until the 31st over on thanks to Bolton and Mooney’s 171-run first-wicket stand, and it’s a position the world's No.1 batter won’t mind being in more often.

“They were great,” she said. “They took their time early getting in against some good fast bowling from the West Indies and then really put their foot on the accelerator once they felt comfortable.

“That’s a really good way to play here, the new ball can do a little bit. It was great to put on a big partnership and snuff out any chance the West Indies had.

“Bolton’s been threatening in the practice games to go on and make a big score, she’s been hitting them nicely but hadn’t quite put together the big one.”

The Australian squad will travelled to Bristol on Tuesday, where they’ll have a chance to make it 2-0 when they meet eighth-ranked Sri Lanka on Thursday, before a crucial trans-Tasman clash with New Zealand on Sunday.

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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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