Healy banks on WPL experience to counter low and slow conditions in Bangladesh


Alyssa Healy wants her team to counter and put pressure early on Bangladesh's spinners.

Australian skipper Alyssa Healy reckons that experience gained in the Women's Premier League would hold her team in good stead in the forthcoming assignment against Bangladesh, a series that's likely to be played on pitches similar to the ones used in the WPL.

Bangladesh are expected to exploit the low and slow wickets at home to their advantage but with as many as seven players just having finished their WPL commitments, the tourists expect to hit the ground running with little time needed for acclimatisation.

"I think having that knowledge and that experience, in particular coming from the WPL, the Delhi wicket in particular was a little bit low and a little bit slow which doesn't traditionally suit an Australian batting line-up. I think there is enough experience within our group and enough communication in particular, to make sure that we're adapting to those conditions and still being able to score runs when they don't quite suit us," Healy said.

"The nature of modern day cricket is that you're constantly jumping from tournament to international cricket, and vice versa. So I'd say to an extent, it's somewhat of an advantage coming from playing cricket. What the conditions are going to be like we'll have to find that out for ourselves tomorrow. All I know is that the girls are really excited to be here in Bangladesh. For the majority, it is for the very first time and get the opportunity to play against the Bangladesh team, which outside of World Cups is a very rare thing for us. So it's an exciting opportunity for our group," she said.

Healy said that Australia's batting unit would need to counter spin and get on top of the spinners quickly as a defensive approach wouldn't help them too much. "Our batting unit has to counter that [spin] and adapt to conditions really quickly. Adapt to what they're going to throw at us with the ball in hand. So it's exciting for us. We play a lot against teams like India, England and New Zealand. We don't really get the opportunity to play against Bangladesh very often. We get to experience new conditions and opposition. I think the group's in a great place to take that challenge head on," said Healy.

"I think if you look at their squad as a whole, they possess a lot of skill within their bowling attack in particular. I think a lot of spin which is which is quite noticeable and obviously a real challenge for teams not from the subcontinent. I am probably not going to point out a couple of names in particular but I think as a whole their bowling unit is their real strength. Watching a little bit of the series they played recently against India and these conditions, they made it really challenging for the aggression of that Indian batting line-up.

"I think Bangladesh poses a real threat to a lot of teams within the ODI Women's Championship in particular. They have fought their way into it and they've got the opportunity now to play against the top nations in the world, which I think is a great thing for our sport, and also to be able to grow it right around the world," she added.

Meanwhile Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana is hoping her side gives the uber-dominant Australian side a run for its money following a thrilling drawn series against India at home. "Definitely I think it [mindset] changed in everyone. India is the kind of team, that if you perform against them, you are in focus in world cricket. I would say it was a positive for us.

"People now know who Marufa [Akter] is or who is Nahida [Akter]. Recently Nahida has bowled outstandingly and she was in the ODI team of the year. So individually, players are coming into focus. So I would say that series helped us turn around plus our popularity increased.

"When we were playing against India, the journalists' questions were very different. Whether we can win or not, you asked. I think it is a huge success for my team that you aren't asking me these questions. The questions this time are about winning and doing better. I think it is a kind of a success. We really want to do well against Australia. They are a highlighted side. They get facilities that are equal to their men's team. We are still a way from that, but the BCB is trying. They got us a team sponsor this time. There's a lot of media attention this time, which wasn't the case before. The word will spread more about women's cricket. When girls will know that they have a professional future in this sport, they will be more interested to play cricket.

"They are the better side. They are the world champions. Playing against them is a huge experience for us. The way we have played in the last six or seven months and looking at their squad, it is clear that they haven't taken us lightly," Nigar said.