West Indies v Australia ODIs - Women's
Back issue lingers for desperate Lanning
Australia's captain itching to get back on the park for final ODI against West Indies after missing Sunday's clash
Laura Jolly in Antigua
11 September 2019, 07:40 AM AEST
Australia are sweating on the fitness of Meg Lanning on the eve of the third and final one-day international in Antigua, with the national captain's availability set to be determined on the morning of the match.
Lanning was a late scratching from Sunday's second ODI at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, ruled out just minutes before the coin toss due to back spasms with deputy Rachael Haynes stepping up to lead the side.
It was a frustrating setback for Lanning – whose disappointment at missing the match was obvious on Sunday – after she struck 121 in the series opener, but her absence provided little relief from the Windies bowling attack as Ellyse Perry's second ODI ton and fifties to Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney and Ashleigh Gardner powered the tourists to 2-308.
Since Sunday's match, Lanning has been single-mindedly focused on her recuperation, working with Australia's team physio in a bid to ensure her fitness for the final match of the one-day series. Her dedication to water-based recovery at the beach has even seen her dubbed 'Susie O'Neill' by her teammates.
It's not the first time the Victorian has experienced back issues, having missed an ODI against Pakistan last October for the same reason.
If Lanning is unable to take her place in the Australian XI on Wednesday, she will at least be comforted by the form her fellow batters have displayed since arriving in the Caribbean.
Leading the pack are Alyssa Healy and Perry – the former hit her second ODI hundred in the opening game while the latter has not been dismissed in any format since the one-off Ashes Test in Taunton in mid-July.
Since that dismissal – which saw Perry out for 116 in the first session of that Test match – the star allrounder has struck scores of 76no, 7no, 47no, 60no, 33no and 112no.
"We've been playing really well batting first and making some big totals which is really promising," Australia assistant coach Shelley Nitschke said on Tuesday.
"Our batting unit is really firing. It's always a bonus to have scoreboard pressure."
Australia will be eyeing an ODI series sweep in the third and final one-day international in Antigua, to be played at the same venue on Wednesday from 9.30am local time (11.30pm AEST).
Fans in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea can stream the series live and free on cricket.com.au and the CA Live App, while fans elsewhere can watch on the West Indies Cricket YouTube channel.
CommBank Tour of the West Indies
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Heather Graham, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
West Indies ODI squad: Stafanie Taylor (c), Hayley Matthews (vc), Reniece Boyce, Afy Fletcher, Chinelle Henry, Shamilia Connell, Stacy Ann King, Natasha McLean, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Anisa Mohammed, Karishma Ramharack, Shabika Gajnabi
One-Day Internationals* *ICC Women's Championship matches
First ODI: Australia won by 178 runs
Second ODI: Australia won by 151 runs
September 11: Third ODI, Sir Viv Richards Ground, Antigua
September 14: First T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados
September 16: Second T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados
September 18: Third T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados