2022 World Cup: Australia women hope to erase memories of 2017 semis loss to India

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Six-time Women’s World Cup champions Australia will be looking to go all the way in the 2022 edition of the tournament — beginning in New Zealand on March 4 — hoping to erase memories of the previous edition when they were knocked out by India in the semifinals.

The most successful country in the history of the tournament — they have won the title in 1978, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2005 and 2013 –, Australia have announced a strong squad and will enter the mega event as one of the favourites once again.

Besides winning the title half-a-dozen times, Australia have reached the final in eight out of the 11 editions so far. They have made it to at least the semifinals in every edition and that sums up their domination.

Even though Australia have been plagued by injuries to some of their top players such as Georgia Wareham, Sophie Molineux and Tayla Vlaeminck, the squad still has a blend of youth and experience capable to take on the best in the business.

There is plenty of experience at the top of the order with Alyssa Healy, skipper Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry and Beth Mooney forming the top four. Perry is the most experienced among them having played 118 ODIs. Healy and Lanning too have played more than 80 WODIs apiece. In comparison, Mooney has played only 44 matches, but she has established herself as a vital cog of their middle-order.

Australia have plenty of other batting options, with the likes of Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Nicola Carey and Tahlia McGrath ready to slot into the middle-order, according to ICC.

On the bowling front, the experienced Megan Schutt will lead the attack, supported by talented youngsters such as Annabel Sutherland and 18-year-old Darcie Brown, while seam-bowling all-rounders Perry and McGrath are capable of delivering as frontline bowlers.

Jess Jonassen will lead the spin-bowling attack and will also look to add value with her batting lower down the order, and both Ashleigh Gardner and Grace Harris are effective options with their right-arm off-breaks.

Australia have also included two more leg-spinners in the squad in Amanda-Jade Wellington and Alana King. Wellington has been recalled on the back of some impressive performances in the WBBL and domestic cricket, while King has been added after her impressive returns in the WBBL. She also made her Australia debut during the multi-format Women’s Ashes and will be eager to deliver impactful performances in the mega event once again.

The squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes, Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington.

Travelling reserves: Hannah Darlington, Georgia Redmayne.

Australia’s fixtures in World Cup: March 5- England; March 8 – Pakistan; March 13 – New Zealand; March 15 – West Indies; March 19 – India; March 22 – South Africa; Mar 25 – Bangladesh.

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