Navi Mumbai, Dec 8 (PTI): Australia’s stand-in skipper Alyssa Healy is excited to lead the team in a five-match T20I series in India, a country which has a special place for her as she scored her maiden international century here four years ago.
The wicketkeeper, who also opens the batting, notched her first international hundred during Australia’s 2018 tour of India, when she scored a 115-ball 133 in a 97-run win in the third ODI in Vadodara.
“It’s a great place to travel. For me personally, it’s nice to be back here. The place holds nice memories; the maiden hundred will last a lifetime,” Healy said on the eve of their five-match T20I series opener here.
For both the teams, the series will start the countdown to the T20 World Cup in South Africa in February next year.
In their last meeting, Australia defeated India en route to the Commonwealth Games gold medal in Birmingham.
“I’m really excited to play against a quality side. It’s great to be back, it’s been a long time we have been here. It’s exciting to me as the captain,” said Healy who has taken over the reins after regular skipper Meg Lanning took an indefinite personal break. “We are obviously aware of the danger of power they (India) possess, so it’s great for cricket as well. We know we are in for a battle.”
Captaincy is an added responsibility but she’s relishing every bit of it. “It’s an added challenge, opening, wicket-keeping and captaining. But I love high pressure situations, it’s about managing workloads. I’m fortunate to have good leaders, whom I can lean on. I don’t have any ego when it comes to leadership.”
Healy also spoke about talented youngster Shafali Verma who will lead the India U-19 team in the inaugural U-19 World Cup in South Africa next month.
Both Shafali and Richa Ghosh, who are also part of the senior side, will be joining the U-19 camp ahead of the World Cup and will not be available for the entire series against Australia. Healy believes that their presence will help the younger players. Both of them have been with the India senior team for a while and have featured in ICC events.
“Some of these young players will get opportunities to rub shoulders with these players who have already played international games at the top level,” Healy said.
“If you are stacking your U-19 side with your full-strength international side, then that might be an issue, but from my point of view, having Shafali and Richa Ghosh is only going to do wonders for those young players coming through and they can pick their brains in what works well, what does not in international cricket and it’s a great thing,” she added.