n wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy will “bring the bitch back” for Sunday’s Ashes opener in Brisbane, and key quick Megan Schutt has vowed to play her part in an aggressive approach against England this summer.
The visitors enter the Ashes with a swagger in their step after leapfrogging into the world’s No.1 ranking following their World Cup triumph in July where Schutt’s team was bundled out by India in the semi-finals.
That loss was particularly painful for the tournament favourites who have been stewing on their failed World Cup campaign ever since, and the Aussies are set to unleash three months of pent-up disappointment on England this weekend.
Healy declared last week there would be plenty of chatter from behind the stumps while England was batting throughout the series, and Schutt was keen to chime in not only with the ball, but with her razor-sharp wit.
“I didn’t think you could use the word bitch in media so that was great, I had a good laugh and I was like ‘Why haven’t I done that before?’,” Schutt said. “I love it, I love when Midge [Healy] comes out with that attitude because when she’s chirping I’m glad to be on the same side of it.
“We’ve talked about, until recently, we’ve been the No.1 team in the world for a long time and I think personally we should have a good presence out there.
“I’m not necessarily a sledger in a sense, but I just like to say things that are probably going to get in their head, and get them thinking about the game. Every now and again make a sly comment with a bit of a devil eye, that’s kind of what I do best.
“I’ve got piercings all over my face and ears so it’s intimidating.
“It’s not an arrogance thing, it’s a confidence thing and saying ‘Hey we’ve turned up to play a game of cricket’. I know I’m going to try and be chirpy out there, it’s something that I do well so I might as well do it.”
and England play three one-day internationals starting on Sunday before a day-night Test at North Sydney Oval starting on November 9.
That’s where Schutt will come into her own brandishing her deadly in-swing bowling, using a pink ball which is expected to move around under lights.
“I’ve had a few bowling sessions with the pink ball down back in Adelaide and the ball was moving,” Schutt said. “It was awesome, it was great to have a ball that from the get-go has got a bit of a seam and it was a bit more of a pronounced seam, I felt like I could hold it really well.
“I was getting movement which was lovely, and that just creates a good contest between the bat and the ball and at the end of the day that’s what you want to see in a Test match.
“That’s going to be really important especially on a deck that’s not going to be able to give too much to the bowlers, so hopefully under lights that ball’s moving a bit for me.”