A change to the world record-setting Australian line-up is likely against India on Friday and an injury scare could mean another one.
A nasty throwdown in the nets from a coach sent an injury scare through the Australia camp on Thursday when star opener Rachael Haynes was sent for scans on her elbow.
Haynes, the Aussie vice-captain and coming off an unbeaten 93 in Tuesday’s series-opening win over India in Mackay, was struck with a rising ball which forced her out of the nets before she was sent for scans a short time later.
It’s believed the scans were only precautionary, but a decision on whether she plays in the second game in Mackay on Friday could be left until the final hours before the match.
The Aussies have no shortage of back-up options, with T20 opener Beth Mooney, who didn’t get to bat on Tuesday, the most likely option.
One change to the team, which powered to a world record 25th-straight one-day win, is likely with Nicola Carey set to return.
A decision on whether to rotate any of the other bowlers, with the Aussies set to play 10 days of cricket across 20 days, including a historic day/night Test match, could also factor in to selection.
Teenagers Darcie Brown (18) and Hannah Darlington (19) along with Tahlia McGrath bowled 23 of Australia’s 50 overs in Tuesday’s big win in the absence of speedster Tayla Vlaeminck, who won’t return until the T20s at the end of the series.
Australia has assembled a large squad for the multi-format series, which will be played entirely in Queensland out of Covid necessity and several players could be given opportunities ahead of next year’s World Cup.
There is a chance the other uncapped quicks, Stella Campbell and Maitlan Brown, could come in to consideration.
“I think this is the biggest squad I’ve been a part of and a lot of them are young quicks, so it’s been great in the nets facing them all,” spinner Sophie Molineux said on Thursday.
“They are all really excited, and they’ve been given the reins to be able to rip in and bowl short and try and scare opposition batters, which is great for women’s cricket. The way the girls have attacked has been great.”
Molineux herself returned to the ODI side on Tuesday to fill the gap left by spinner Jess Jonassen, another absent star.
She claimed two wickets in what was just her seventh ODI since making her debut in 2018 and enjoyed the extra opportunity 50-over cricket allows.
“I think one-day cricket sort of drags out everything; you can set up the batters and have a bit more time, rather than the frantic T20,” she said.
”I really enjoy being able to put in a couple of overs to the same batter. It definitely suits our team, one-day cricket – the skill of every player is more on show.”