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Australia 'a bit rattled' by Lanning's withdrawal: Shelley Nitschke

Last updated on 29 May 2023 | 12:03 PM
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Australia 'a bit rattled' by Lanning's withdrawal: Shelley Nitschke

Alyssa Healy will lead the side in the multi-format series, with the one-off Test starting on June 22

A couple of weeks before the much-awaited women's Ashes, Australia were dealt a severe blow as Meg Lanning was ruled out of the series for medical reasons. 

Cricket Australia confirmed the development in a press release and stated Lanning would continue to work with the medical team from home, and the timeline for her return to sport will be decided in due course. 

The squad gathered for a pre-season camp ahead of the marquee tournament and Head Coach Shelley Nitschke admitted the team is a bit rattled by the sudden withdrawal of their skipper. 

"I'm sure they were a little bit rattled by the news. But I think Meg is in our thoughts. We've had some time to sort of get our head around it now, and having the girls up here this week, it's really nice to get them together." Nitschke said, as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo. 

"The fact that Healy captained the team in India last year and did a fantastic job, the girls got around her, played some really good cricket, so I think she should take a lot of confidence out of that, and I think she enjoyed it."

"I think we've got some really good leaders in the group. We've got a lot of experience in the group. I think one thing that we've been really good at over the years is just being able to adapt and take some knocks as they come. I've got the utmost confidence in our group to head across and hopefully get the job done," she further added. 

While there have been reports about Healy stepping down the order to manage her workload in the longest format, the former all-rounder did not rule out the move considering the added responsibility of captaincy. 

"Phoebe is so talented and has been on the radar, so she's certainly got the attributes. I think when we get over there in the English conditions, we've been training here with red balls, and we had some overcast conditions in the first camp, but it's just different again over there.

"So I think there's a little bit to play out before we sort of work out who our best XI is for that Test match to kick off the Ashes. But Phoebs is certainly putting her hand up."

"We've got a two-day game this week and got a three-day game over there, so there's a bit to play out. I think she's definitely got the attributes, as have quite a few players. We'll see where it lands," she concluded. 

The multi-format series begins with a one-off Test on June 22 against England at Trent Bridge, followed by three T20Is and three ODIs, ending in Taunton on July 18.

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