After Australia men's cricket team easily dominated over England's men in the recently concluded Ashes, the focus now shifts towards the women’s team from both countries. Retaining the Ashes within 12 days since the opening game, the men’s team stunned Joe Root’s England side by winning the series 4-0.
Regarded as the most successful team in women’s cricket, the Aussies women host England from January 20th for a one-off Test, three T20Is, on January 27. The highly anticipated series will conclude with three ODIs. But, even before the start of the series, the hosts have suffered a huge blow as their top-notch batter Beth Mooney suffered a fractured jaw during training on Monday.
Australia’s squad for Thursday’s opening match of the multi-format series remains uncertain after Mooney was hit in the chin facing throwdowns from coach Matt Mott on Monday. The world’s top-ranked Twenty20 batter had surgery on Tuesday and will now miss T20Is of the Ashes, and most likely the one-off Test and three ODI matches as well.
Mooney has been a mainstay of Australia's top order across the formats, boasting the top individual ranking in T20I cricket. A replacement for Mooney is yet to be named, though Australia have a backup with Australia 'A' side joining the Ashes squad for series preparation. While Rachael Haynes seems a likely option to step into Mooney's spot, it also opens the door for a number of other 'A' team members such as Elyse Villani, Georgia Redmayne, Grace Harris and young gun Phoebe Litchfield.
Mooney's injury is not Australia's only issue. All-rounder Ellyse Perry's arrival in Adelaide has been delayed due to a COVID-19 scare. Molly Strano and Katie Mack, two players in the Australia 'A' squad, will also miss action after testing positive for COVID-19.