Women’s T20 World Cup : Australia expect Alyssa Healy to be fit for semi-final
Gqeberha (South Africa) : Australia are confident that vice-captain Alyssa Healy will be fit to return for Thursday’s cut-throat semi-final at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. Healy sat out Australia’s emphatic six-wicket victory over South Africa on Saturday with a quad concern, but the injury was only minor according to team management.
The experienced wicket-keeper batter only just recovered from a calf injury prior to the tournament and the decision to rest her for the match against the Proteas was purely to provide her with some extra rest, according to star all-rounder Tahlia McGrath.
“It was more of a precautionary measure with coming off a serious calf injury and with a pretty hectic schedule,” McGrath said. “We expect her to be fully fit and ready to go for us in the semi-finals,” she added.
With Healy sidelined it was McGrath that stood up with the bat against South Africa as the right-hander hit a valuable 57 to guide her side within sight of victory. It was McGrath’s first innings of note at the tournament so far and the 27-year-old was relieved to find some good form at the pointy end of the tournament.
“It’s a big relief. I haven’t been batting overly well and I’ve lacked some time in the middle, so I was a bit nervous to start off with,” McGrath said. “It’s been nice watching the batters at the top order do their thing, but yeah, also nice to get an opportunity tonight.”
Just who Australia face in their semi-final remains to be seen, with India their most likely opponent following their loss to England on Saturday. Australia now know their semi-final will be held in Cape Town, a venue they have yet to play at during their four-match unbeaten run at the T20 World Cup.
Young all-rounder Annabel Sutherland filled in admirably for Healy against South Africa and McGrath believes the depth of the Australia squad is one of their many strengths.
“We’ve got such a strong squad here and we’re playing some really good cricket, but four wins means nothing when you get to knockout finals, so we’re going to have to be at our best and there’s some quality teams in the competition,” McGrath noted.
“That’s absolutely our biggest strength, that we’ve got so many options. So many players can play different roles and it seems that someone different sticks their hand up every time.
We’re all in really good form at the moment with the bat, with the ball, we’ve got a really strong squad over here, so we go into those semi-finals full of confidence,” she added.
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