West Indies v Australia T20Is - Women's
Lanning may call on deputy for coin toss
The Australia captain is thinking outside the box to help reverse a recent trend that has been bugging her
Laura Jolly in Barbados
16 September 2019, 03:08 PM AEST
Australia captain Meg Lanning is enjoying a purple patch with the bat, while her world number one-ranked team has dropped just three matches since the start of 2018.
But there’s one area of her game that’s currently causing her no end of grief.
Those who think the toss of a coin is a 50-50 chance may want to examine the recent run of the Australian skipper, who has yet to call correctly since arriving on Caribbean soil.
Lanning’s lost five of her last six tosses, including two ODIs and the first T20I here in Antigua, having missed the second ODI in Antigua due to back spasms.
Stepping in for Lanning on that occasion was her deputy Rachael Haynes, who did manage to call correctly and elected to bat first at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
"I am contemplating taking Rach out with me (next time), so she can do the actual toss part of things," a laughing Lanning, who one again found herself on the wrong side of the coin in Saturday’s first T20I in Barbados, said.
"I am going to take her out next time, it’s just getting a bit ridiculous.
"Everyone just giggles. It’s not (a 50-50 chance) because I’m three-nil down.
"I’m taking Rach next time. She’s one from one."
But if Lanning is after some consolation, she needn’t look far.
Her current run is far from the worst when it comes to an Aussie captain and the coin toss – Australian ODI skipper Aaron Finch lost seven in a row earlier this year, while Allan Border holds the record in one-dayers, having had luck go against him in eight consecutive matches in 1989.
Lanning’s light-hearted suggestion that she might enlist her deputy to carry out the toss duties isn’t without precedent, either.
In a T20 against Zimbabwe last year, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis sent JP Duminy, who wasn't even playing in the match, out to the middle in a bid to snap a six-game losing streak at the toss.
The bold move proved effective as Duminy won the toss – and the Proteas subsequently won the series.
While Lanning may be frustrated with the way fortune is treating her at the toss, it’s barely had an impact on the Australians, who are undefeated four matches into their limited-overs tour of the Caribbean.
But with a T20 World Cup on the horizon, Lanning isn’t satisfied.
"We’ll review (the first T20I) very well as we always do and work out what we need to do to improve and play a little bit better," she said on Saturday night.
The Australian squad were put through their paces in a training session at Kensington Oval on Sunday, ahead of Monday’s second match where they’ll be looking to seal a fourth-consecutive T20I series victory.
That game will kick off 7pm local time (9am Tuesday 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
Third ODI: Australia won by eight wickets
First T20: Australia won by six wickets
September 16: Second T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados
September 18: Third T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados