-Taylor says team ready for any player
History will repeat itself when the 2018 Women’s World T20 unfolds today at 4 pm.
The defending champions West Indies, will once again lock horns with Australia, the three-time champions, at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua, and Windies skipper, Stafanie Taylor believes her side is prepared for any player.
When asked about the preparation to deal with Australia’s Alyssa Healy who has won three player- of-the-match awards in the three matches she batted, Taylor said “West Indies are prepared to deal with any player, not just Alyssa Healy, yes she is in form but at the end of the day is not she alone playing so we are prepared for any player.”
Taylor noted that the past is the past but that has gone in their opponent’s favour with Taylor’s team only winning on one occasion, the final of the previous edition of the tournament.
Questioned about the meaning of the win in 2016, Taylor responded by saying “the past is the past and tomorrow is definitely what counts, I have a feeling the Aussies might be coming for revenge but that’s the past and tomorrow is what counts.”
During their sessions in Antigua, the defending champions were visited by Sir Vivian Richards and Sir Andy Roberts who shared some advice with the team.
The Windies captain noted that “at this stage there are a lot of nerves flying around and it is good to hear some encouraging words.”
“We as players have been playing some good cricket with our batting and bowling, the confidence level in the team is high, I think the belief is just right there and the girls have that ability to go out there and win.”
The Windies skipper was not sure how the pitch will play but was confident in her team to do well.
Her own performance has been exceptional against this side with four half centuries in nine outings while taking seven wickets in support of Anisa Mohammed who has 11 but has played just one match in the tournament so far.
However, Taylor said Mohammed “…has been successful not just against Australia but throughout, and so far the team has been doing well. As I said, we have a balanced team. I’m not sure what the team will look like tomorrow, so that’s the discussion with selector, coaches and myself.”
Australia’s captain, Meg Lanning was also in high spirits for the upcoming contest but wary of the defending champions considering their big hitters.
Lanning stated that they “are very wary of them and when they are on they are very hard to stop but we have some really good bowlers, we just need to make sure we are ready for whatever they bring.”
With a lot of eyes on Healy after she suffered a minor concussion during their last match of the group stage, Lanning said “from what I saw she went really well [in training], she was batting alongside me in the nets and she looked like she enjoyed herself and was hitting the balls well so now we got to wait until the morning and see how she wakes up…she has ticked every box she needed to but we need to see how she goes.”
The Australian skipper was hopeful for her return, noting that “she has been the in-form player…she made it look easy out there at times and will be a massive boost if she is available.”
Aside from Healy, Lanning said coming up against the Windies they will have to account for their big hitting and have their fittest fielding side out there, taking into consideration the size of the ground.
Lanning pointed out that the defending champions were filled with X factors and world class players like Taylor, but singled out Deandra Dottin who has scored 115 runs in the tournament, particularly for a side that scored less than 110 on two occasions while taking nine wickets including 5-5.
Like Taylor, Lanning isn’t sure about the pitch but said in the morning whichever team they go with, she is confident.
Ellyse Perry has a lot to play for, being just three wickets short of 50 and 52 runs short of 1000 in the format and will fancy her chances having taken 10 wickets against this side. Meanwhile Elyse Villani has been sensational against the hosts, averaging 42 in seven outings with three half centuries, ahead of Lanning with two.