It is not just the men’s XI that could use some changes. The ladies’ side could hope to improve after the World Cup.
One of the better female cricketers, Lisa Sthalekar, thinks that the best route would be to add another pace bowler to the list. Her opinion is that team performance is higher when this is the case and she argues that this may have prevented the Aussie side from crashing out when it reached the World Cup semifinals.
The side generally gave preference to the spinners, mainly Ashleigh Gardner, Kristen Beams and Jess Jonassen, which left just Ellyse Perry and Megan Schutt to bring the heat.
Sthalekar expressed the idea that the addition of pacers Tahlia McGrath or Lauren Cheatle would vastly improve the Aussie side for the Ashes.
“I think the evenness or the balance of the side needs to be taken into consideration,” Sthalekar said.“If we look at the performances at the World Cup, it was three times, roughly, that the Australian bowlers were under the pump because of (Sri Lankan Chamari) Athapaththu’s innings and (India’s) Harmanpreet Kaur’s ended their campaign and even Sarah Taylor to a certain extent against England.It’s concerning that we don’t necessarily have another option.”
There are multiple options if such a strategy were to be explored, disregarding selectors’ natural inclination to resent players butting in.
One option would be to drop one spin bowler, or give up a batter in favour of an all-rounder.
The women could also drop a keeper in order to make room for an additional bowler. The Australians currently have two, Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy.
Coach Matthew Mott seems to agree that finding the right balance might require some new faces, but he thinks most of the expected changes will be subtle and that trial games might help to fine tune the squad.