Sydney [Australia], January 23 (ANI): Australia captain Meg Lanning praised Grace Harris for having added “another dimension” to the team’s T20I batting line-up after joining the team again last year, as she positions herself as a vital player in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Harris, who made her debut in 2015, was called up for the T20 Ashes tour last January but didn’t get to the middle until the opening Commonwealth Games match against India in late July due to a combination of rain and Australia’s dominant top-order. She then scored a crucial game-changing knock of 37 off 20 balls after going in with Australia requiring 155 and the possibility of losing at 49 for 5. Harris then went on to score 41, 27 runs unbeaten, and a not-out 64 off 35 balls in India.
“Grace Harris, in particular, has come into our side and added another dimension to our batting line-up,” ESPNcricinfo quoted captain Meg Lanning saying ahead of the first T20I against Pakistan in Sydney. “She can go from ball one and regardless of when she comes in she is able to put the pressure back on the opposition. To pair her up with Ash Gardner, we feel like it sort of takes pressure of Ash in a way, it’s not just reliant on her to come in and accelerate. To be fair, all our batters have been working on that,” she added.
Tuesday will mark Lanning’s return to the T20I squad after she missed the India tour while taking a hiatus from the sport. While Alyssa Healy continues to recuperate from a calf strain, she will bat first against Pakistan with the talented Beth Mooney.
“[The Pakistan series] provides opportunities people to come in and play a slightly different role…there are plenty of options, sometimes that make it a little more tricky. It’s going to be very difficult to make a decision on the final XI in every game. A lot of it will come down to match-ups and who we are coming up against,” Lanning said.