England v Australia ODI - Women's
Positive signs for injured pair
Tayla Vlaeminck soon to resume bowling, while Sophie Molineux remains a chance to feature in Australia's Ashes campaign this July
3 April 2019, 05:08 PM AEST
Rising quick Tayla Vlaeminck is on track to push her case for inclusion in Australia’s Ashes campaign this June and July, while allrounder Sophie Molineux remains in a race against time to prove her fitness for the multi-format series.
Vlaeminck suffered a partial ACL tear while playing for Melbourne Renegades during the Rebel WBBL and missed Australia’s Commonwealth Bank ODI series against New Zealand, but the 20-year-old right armer, who has played one ODI and one T20I for her country, is expected to resume bowling in the coming weeks.
Molineux underwent shoulder surgery in late February to repair damage sustained when she dislocated her non-dominant right shoulder during a state training session, also missing the 50-over series against the White Ferns.
Her left-arm spin and lower-order batting would be a useful weapon for Australia as they look to retain the Ashes and it is hoped she will recover in time for the key series, but given the hectic year ahead for the Australians – which will also feature bilateral series against West Indies and Sri Lanka ahead of the T20 World Cup on home soil next February – Australia coach Matthew Mott says no risks will be taken with the Bairnsdale product.
"I think Tayla is pretty close to resuming bowling, in the next week or two, so that’s a good sign for her," Mott told cricket.com.au.
"For Sophie, a lot of things have to go well for her to make the time frames for the Ashes, but she’s confident and going well and it’s her non-dominant arm.
"She’s in a race against clock to be fit for Ashes. We’ll keep having that conversation with her and make sure she meets her benchmarks along the way … but she’s such a key player, we won’t be rushing her back."
The shoulder injury was a blow for Molineux after she made a bright start to her international career in 2018, but Australian medical staff remain hopeful they can get the allrounder match-ready before the first ODI against England in Leicester on July 2.
In three ODIs, Molineux has taken six wickets at an average of 6.50 – incredibly, bowling with an economy rate of 1.50 – while in her 15 T20Is, she's picked up 15 scalps at 20.06.
She played a key role in helped Australia claim their fourth T20 World Cup title in the Caribbean in November and went on to help the Melbourne Renegades reach the WBBL semi-finals for the first time.
The Australian players are currently enjoying a well-earned break and will return to training from April 23.
Vlaeminck will be able to press her case during Australian camps at Brisbane’s Bupa National Cricket Centre in the lead-up to the Ashes.
Alongside Molineux and Vlaeminck, Australia will also be crossing their fingers one-day opener Nicole Bolton will return to take on England.
Bolton was unavailable for the latter stages of WBBL|04 and for the New Zealand ODI series due to personal reasons but made a major impact in her Premier Cricket return last month.
The Western Australian struck 110 and 84no in two games for Subiaco Floreat as they took out the A Grade 50-over title.
CommBank Ashes Tour of England
First ODI Grace Road, Leicester, July 2
Second ODI Grace Road, Leicester, July 4
Third ODI St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, July 7
First T20 County Ground, Chelmsford, July 26
Second T20 The County Ground, Hove, July 28
Third T20 Bristol County Ground, Bristol, July 31