Ashes: Alyssa Healy keen to open the batting and keep wicket against England
Alyssa Healy’s baggy green cap was waiting for her on arrival in Canberra ahead of Thursday’s Test showdown with England.
But while the Australian opener will be reunited with her cap, after leaving it at home in Sydney before the series began in Adelaide, whether she’ll be reunited with her opening partner is yet to be seen.
Healy is a rarity in Test cricket, a keeper who also opens the batting.
An Alex Carey cameo, for the injured David Warner, in the second innings in the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba this summer, was the most recent example of a keeper opening the batting after spending a long period in the field.
Healy has every ambition to walk out first in Canberra, although her workload could yet dictate if that happens. But Healy opened after keeping for 145 overs in Australia’s most recent Test against India late last year.
“It hasn’t really come up in discussion that I wouldn’t be (opening) so I’m going to go with the assumption that I’m still doing that job,” she said.
“There‘s ongoing chats about (keeping and opening), the approach we took in that last Test match we played was ’we’ll see how we go’.
“If things don’t quite go to plan, or we’re out in the field for an extended period of time, and I am feeling fatigued, then we make that call on the fly and maybe I don’t open the batting.
“But I’m always going to stick my hand up and say I’m ready to go and ready to contribute, whether that be at the top of the order or with the gloves, so I’m sure it’ll be okay.”
Who Healy opens with could be determined on match day with Beth Mooney in the frame to make a surprise return after breaking her jaw and having surgery just a week ago.
Healy and Mooney opened in the Test match against India last September, but Rachael Haynes could also fill the role should Mooney not be passed fit to play.
After two washouts in Adelaide for the second and third T20s, Healy was excited to play some longer form cricket.
Despite a lean WBBL, in which the 31-year-old scored just 213 runs at 19 from 13 innings for the Sydney Sixers, which Healy later revealed was due to an elbow complaint, she’s now back to full fitness.
She smacked an unbeaten 99 in a warm-up game before being dismissed for seven in the only T20 that was not a washout, and declared she‘s ready to perform.
“It may or may have not looked like it in the first T20 but I feel like I‘m in a really good place with my batting again.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to just spend a bit of time out in the middle and hopefully get my team in into a really good position to win, whether it be a Test match or a one-dayer.”
“We want a result in these Test matches as well and I think the only way we‘re going to be able to force one is by playing aggressive cricket.”
Originally published as Ashes: Alyssa Healy keen to open the batting and keep wicket against England
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