Women’s World Cup: 2017 semifinal loss brought professionalism and accountability, says Megan Schutt

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Australia pacer Megan Schutt firmly believes that Australia’s surprising exit from the 2017 World Cup in the semifinals brought a kind of professionalism and accountability which wasn’t there in the side before.

Since being hammered by India and Harmanpreet Kaur’s 171, Australia have become a force to reckon with in the 50-over format and now find themselves in the final of the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup. The 2013 World Cup winners will now face England at Hagley Oval on Sunday to bag their seventh 50-over World Cup trophy.

“Look, that (Australia’s exit from 2017 World Cup in semi-final) was a very long time ago. We were a very different team and when I see photos from the XI that were on that field, it’s almost a 180 flip. And what that brought was a form of professionalism and accountability that we didn’t have back then.

“And now we have plans A through to F and that was the kick up the butt that we kind of needed. So, as much as we can talk about that being a failure and whatnot, that actually created a really good dynasty for us and it’s nice five years later to finally be in a final,” said Schutt after Australia defeated the West Indies by 157 runs in the first semi-final.

In the ongoing mega event, Schutt has picked seven wickets in an undefeated campaign of eight matches, joining forces with Ellyse Perry or youngster Darcie Brown for the new ball duties. Schutt, who was the leading wicket-taker in Australia winning 2013 World Cup with 15 wickets in seven matches, feels that making final in 2022 World Cup suits her better.

“(2022 final feels) a lot better, if I’m honest. When I played in the 2013 World Cup, I was fresh, I didn’t really know where I was and if I belonged in that team. So it’s a completely different feel this time around, and personally, I feel like I really deserve it a lot more than what I did back then, I was just a lucky kid. So, this one feels great.”

Schutt has also been pleased with how Australia’s unbeaten run in the World Cup has panned out despite some challenges posed by the opposition teams in various points.

“It’s a dream start. We’ve had some tough games there. I mean, this tournament has been so tightly contested and to come away with eight straight (victories), I think speaks volumes of the cricket we’ve been playing,” she said.

“I think today (semifinal against West Indies) was definitely a more clinical performance and one we’d be more happy with when we’re going through our reviews which is crazy to have that kind of form coming in.

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