Women's World T20 2018

Lanning unsure on Australia XI

The Australia captain is yet to settle on the XI her side will use to take on Pakistan in their first match of the World Twenty20

Laura Jolly, in Guyana

09 November 2018, 11:59 AM

Expectations high for Australia

Australia are keeping their cards close to their chest ahead of their World T20 opener against Pakistan, with a number of questions unanswered around the make-up of their bowling attack.

Australia's bid to win back the ICC title they surrendered in 2016 begins on Friday 4pm local time (7am Saturday AEDT), with all four of their group matches to be played at Guyana's Providence Stadium.

The top seven batters are seemingly locked in, with Australia unlikely to change a winning formula – but with all members of their bowling attack firing in Tuesday's warm-up against South Africa and left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen returning from injury, the selectors have some major decisions to make.

Jonassen played the final T20I of Australia's tour of Malaysia – also against Pakistan – last week, but came into the XI in place of captain Meg Lanning, who sat out with a minor back injury.

There's no question over the Aussie skipper's fitness and with her back in the team, fitting experienced left-arm Brisbane Heat spinner Jonassen back into the attack would mean a tough call on a side that completed T20 series whitewashes against both New Zealand and Pakistan in the last six weeks.

Making matters more complicated, uncapped Renegades speedster Tayla Vlaeminck and Thunder pacer Nicola Carey – who both have sat on the sidelines through those series wins - both also made cases for themselves against the Proteas.

Speaking to media on the eve of the tournament opener, Lanning said they had yet to settle on their final XI.

"It's going to be a tough selection, we feel like we've got a pretty good idea but want to get through training today and then we'll make our final call but it's definitely going to be pretty tough," Lanning said.

"(The warm-up) probably complicated things to be honest, Tayla Vlaeminck bowled extremely well and everyone did, so I guess for us it's a great thing that everyone is able to be effective in these conditions bowling-wise, and whatever mix we do go with, I'm sure they'll do extremely well."

Lanning, Mott full of confidence

Left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux sat out the warm-up match due to a soft tissue injury in her bowling hand, but bowled in the nets on Thursday, albeit with strapping.

"She's got to get through training today, she'll be out there running around so assuming that all goes fine, she'll be available for selection. Hopefully we've got the full 15 to pick from," Lanning said.

It was the pace bowlers who had the most success on Tuesday, proving highly effective on a skiddy wicket that kept low. But having journeyed to Providence Stadium on Wednesday night to watch a warm-up between India and New Zealand played on a different pitch, Australia coach Matthew Mott believes selection could become a game-by-game matter.

"We're going to assess as this tournament goes on. We've obviously got four games in Guyana, so we feel like we know the pitch pretty well," Mott said.

"We went along and watched last night and it was played on a different wicket and it played quite differently.

"I think it could vary game to game, and so we got to be as adaptable as possible."

West Indies 2010 World T20 reflections

On wickets and an outfield unlikely to be as friendly to the batters as the series at home against New Zealand in September/October, Mott believes it'll take some creativity to ensure big scores are still put on the board.

"The batters will just find a different way to score runs, I still think there's a lot of runs out there if you bat smart, hit the pockets and run hard," Mott noted.

"We're talked a lot about our approach to it, so there's no excuses from our point of view and whatever conditions are served up we're well equipped."

Australia's match against Pakistan will begin at 4pm Friday local time (Saturday 7am AEDT).

Fox Sports will broadcast every match of the Women's World T20, while the Nine Network will televise Australia's matches.

2018 ICC Women's World T20  

Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham

November 9: Australia v Pakistan, Province Stadium, Guyana

November 11: Australia v Ireland, Province Stadium

November 13: Australia v New Zealand, Province Stadium

November 17: Australia v India, Province Stadium

November 22: Semi-finals, Sir Vivian Richards Ground, Antigua

November 24: Final, Sir Vivian Richards Ground