Australia is already focused on defending its ICC Women’s T20 World Cup on home soil, after securing a series victory over Sri Lanka with one match to spare.
- Australia will host the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup early next year, having won the title in West Indies last year
- The world champions have established an unassailable 2-0 lead in its current series against Sri Lanka
- Alyssa Healy played her 100th T20 international in last night’s win over Sri Lanka
Australia posted a crushing nine-wicket triumph at North Sydney Oval last night to go 2-0 up in the three-match series.
But a series clean sweep is only a small incentive because Australia has a bigger picture in mind — February’s World Cup.
“We have had some really good discussions about what are the areas that we can further improve on and I think that reflects on the maturity of the squad,” Australia wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy said.
“We are never satisfied and want to keep pushing the standard higher and higher … everyone is going to be in really good nick come February.
“Every single person in this squad can contribute at any time, and I think there are another eight or nine players outside the current squad putting their hand up and wanting selection for the T20 World Cup.”
Australia felt it needed to improve on the bowling display it produced in the opening match of the series, which it won by 41 runs at North Sydney Oval on Sunday.
The home side’s fielding was also put under the microscope, but Healy felt they stepped up in both facets of the game to restrict Sri Lanka to 8-84 in the second encounter.
“We spoke at length in our team meeting about how we were going to bowl at their batters and some of the things we could do differently, and we executed that really well,” Healy said.
“Our fielding hasn’t been up to scratch in the past few series, but we had a really good performance in that facet of the game.
“That is when we know we are playing our best.”
Healy made her 100th T20 international appearance last night, becoming only the second Australian after teammate Ellyse Perry to reach the milestone.
“Ninety-nine games ago I would have said I wouldn’t have played 100,” she said.
The third and final fixture of the Sri Lanka series takes place at North Sydney Oval tomorrow afternoon.
The World Cup commences on February 21, with Australia hosting India in Homebush.
Australia and India have been grouped with New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the pool stage.
The final will be contested at the MCG on March 8.