WBBL preview: Opening guns to lead Perth's finals push
New coach, new captain and perhaps the competition's most dynamic opening pair have the Scorchers feeling positive ahead of WBBL|06
20 October 2020, 11:46 AM AEST
Perth Scorchers recruit Beth Mooney says she is willing to give up the gloves and play as a batter alone when she debuts for her new Rebel WBBL club this weekend.
Wicketkeeper-batter Mooney stood behind the stumps for five seasons at the Brisbane Heat, but has signed with a Scorchers squad that also includes England 'keeper Amy Jones (pictured above).
It is a familiar situation for Mooney, who plays in the same Australia XI as star 'keeper Alyssa Healy and who has made no secret of her desire to eventually take the gloves at international level.
Speaking on The Scoop podcast, Mooney said no decisions had yet been made as to who would take the gloves and while she would like to do the job herself, she was also full of praise for Jones' abilities.
"That's a discussion we'll have once we all get together (this week ahead of the first matches)," Mooney said.
"We're really mindful of being respectful of everyone's position – Amy's had the gloves for Perth for the last couple of years and has done a really great job.
"I think she's one of the best wicketkeepers in the world, so I rate her above my own 'keeping.
"(Keeping) is something I'd like to do, but the discussion hasn't been had yet."
However, Mooney does expect to open the batting alongside fellow gun recruit Sophie Devine.
The Scorchers were the major players in the WBBL|06 contracting period, signing last season's two highest run scorers in Devine and Mooney following the departure of Australia captain Meg Lanning, who returned to the Stars.
It gives the WBBL|05 semi-finalists a seriously stacked batting line-up, with the pair joined by Jones, experienced international Nicole Bolton and rising allrounder Heather Graham, while leg-spin bowling England allrounder Sarah Glenn also has impressive credentials.
"I think it'll be Soph and I at the top of the order which will be really exciting.
"The one thing that excites me (most) about the Scorchers is the balance and depth we've got within our batting order.
"Even someone like Sarah Glenn, who just won Player of the Series against West Indies, whacked a few batting at six and seven for England (last month) so she'll be a really handy allrounder for us."
Meanwhile, new Scorchers head coach Shelley Nitschke is confident the club has the bowling firepower to match its star-studded batting line-up.
Their bowling ranks are less heralded, with Glenn's wrist spin and Devine's pace the standouts.
However, they do have former Australia A representatives in pacers Piepa Cleary, Taneale Peschel and Graham, who also has a solitary ODI to her name, and off-spinners Bolton, Jemma Barsby and Emma King.
"We've got some really good options," Nitschke told cricket.com.au.
"We've got a balanced bowling unit with Sarah Glenn coming over … the ball going away from the right-hander is going to be an asset for us and I think Piepa Cleary will be really important for us.
"She's had a really good preseason and I'm looking forward to her getting a full season in after missing most of last season (with a broken ankle).
"I think everyone is going to play a role because everyone offers something a little bit different."
Squad: Sophie Devine (c) (NZ), Beth Mooney (Aus), Sarah Glenn (Eng), Amy Jones (Eng), Megan Banting, Jemma Barsby, Nicole Bolton, Samantha Betts, Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Heather Graham, Emma King, Taneale Peschel, Chloe Piparo, Georgia Wyllie
Ins: Beth Mooney (Heat), Sophie Devine (Strikers), Sarah Glenn, Megan Banting, Georgia Whyllie
Outs: Meg Lanning (Stars), Natalie Sciver (Stars), Georgia Redmayne (Heat), Kim Garth, Kath Hempenstall
Possible best XI: Sophie Devine (c), Beth Mooney (wk), Amy Jones, Nicole Bolton, Heather Graham, Chloe Piparo, Jemma Barsby, Piepa Cleary, Taneale Peschel, Sarah Glenn, Samantha Betts
Last year's result: Semi-finalist
The inside word with Kristen Beams on The Scoop podcast:
"We're all just expecting that Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine are going to make so many runs. I think for them it's making sure they get off to a really nice start. We've already decided they're both going to be really successful but it's hard to back up really good years."
October 25: v Heat, North Sydney Oval
October 26: v Hurricanes, Hurstville Oval
October 31: v Renegades, Drummoyne Oval
November 1: v Strikers, Drummoyne Oval
November 4: v Thunder, Blacktown International Sports Park
November 7: v Stars, North Sydney Oval
November 8: v Sixers, Hurstville Oval
November 11: v Sixers, Blacktown International Sports Park
November 14: v Renegades, Showground Stadium
November 15: v Thunder, Showground Stadium
November 17: v Stars, Hurstville Oval
November 18: v Heat, Hurstville Oval
November 21: v Hurricanes, North Sydney Oval
November 22: v Strikers, North Sydney Oval