Women’s Ashes 2nd ODI – Beth Mooney may be rested but Australia determined not to relax


The batter did not field in Canberra and both teams have an eye on the upcoming World Cup

Australia may take a cautious approach with Beth Mooney in the second ODI but they are in no mood to let up on England despite the Ashes having been retained.

For those involved in the 2017-18 series there are memories of how England were able to fight back to level the contest at 8-8, something Australia are determined not to let happen again.

“We didn’t finish off as well as we would’ve liked,” Rachael Haynes said of 2017. “We played some good cricket but we just opened the door and it felt like we allowed them to finish pretty strongly, I guess walk away feeling like they drew the series. From our point of view we want to make sure that we win.”

However, they are unlikely to take a risk with a key player as the departure date for the World Cup approaches. Mooney, who has returned to action remarkably quickly after a fractured jaw, did not field in Canberra due to some quad tightness after her 73 had anchored Australia to what proved a match-winning 205 on a tricky surface.

The squad departs for New Zealand two days after the Ashes concludes, and will undergo 10 days hard quarantine which adds to the complexity for anyone who is carrying an injury into the tournament.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if our staff took a little bit of a conservative approach with Moons just given how crucial she is to our line-up,” Haynes said. “I don’t think they’ve selected the team yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was rested just to make sure she’s raring to go with what’s ahead.”

If Mooney does sit out it could open the door for a return for either Annabel Sutherland or Nicola Carey unless they call in someone from outside the Ashes squad.

Although both teams have insisted their focus has remained firmly on the Ashes, Haynes would not be surprised if a few different combinations are tried out. The two teams face each other in their opening World Cup match on March 5.

“It’s sort of a bit of a tricky time because you want to make sure you’re peaking at the right moment,” Haynes said. “You don’t want to peak too early and then all of a sudden you get to a World Cup and run out of gas.

“It might even be interesting to see how both teams approach these last couple of games. Whether there’s a bit of cat and mouse in terms of how they mix up their attacks or lineups in general in teams. It could be something that each opposition does.”

“We feel like we’ve played some good cricket on this tour so far but it’s about getting over the line and we haven’t quite been able to do that which is frustrating,” Anya Shrubsole said. “There’s still a chance to level up the Ashes if we win the next two games…It’s not what we came to do, we came to win the Ashes but there’s still a huge amount to play for in this series and with the World Cup around the corner.”

After the England A portion of the tour concluded in Canberra, Lauren Bell, Georgia Elwiss, Eve Jones and Emma Lamb have stayed with the England squad for the final two ODIs. The World Cup squad will be announced on February 9.

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