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Healy looks to 'reset and refresh' Australia for new era of success

Her captaincy appointment had been expected and was ratified on Friday, with Tahlia McGrath named vice-captain

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Over to you, skipper: Alyssa Healy was confirmed as Australia's new captain  •  Getty Images

Over to you, skipper: Alyssa Healy was confirmed as Australia's new captain  •  Getty Images

Alyssa Healy wants to create a "new legacy" for Australia's all-conquering women's cricket team after officially replacing Meg Lanning as captain across all three formats.
Wicketkeeper-batter Healy filled in for Lanning as captain for extended spells over the past two years, including this year's Ashes. Now the 33-year-old, who had always been expected to earn the elevation, will step into the role full-time after Lanning's shock international retirement last month.
Allrounder Tahlia McGrath, who recently led Adelaide Strikers to back-to-back WBBL titles, has been named vice-captain.
Healy, a matchwinner across her 255-game career, will lead Australia's attempts to keep international cricket's chasing pack at bay which will include defending the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh next September.
"For me to be able to present to the powers that be about who I am and what I can bring as a leader and what I can hopefully help this side do in the next couple of big years with a couple of World Cups on the horizon was a really great experience for me," Healy said. "And [it] probably just ratified things in my own head about, 'Yep, this is exactly what I want to do'. And I want to help create a new legacy for this Australian team.
"The legacy that Meg Lanning and Rachael Haynes had for a really long period of time and the success they had was outstanding, and I was a part of that, which is really cool. But it feels like we're a little bit new. We're a new side, we've got talent coming through. We've got older players coming in and out and it was sort of an opportunity to reset and refresh."
Healy's reign will begin in earnest later this month after she declared herself a near-certain starter for the Test against India at the famous Wankhede Stadium on December 21. She missed the entire WBBL after badly hurting her finger while trying to break up a fight between her two dogs but has returned to training.
Seeing the opportunity that lay ahead for her when Lanning retired helped clarify Healy's career-goals, in terms of both building more success for this team and ensuring a successful future.
"I've always been a little bit wishy-washy, and you guys in the media can probably attest to that," she said. "I always play games about how long I'm going to play for, but in my own mind it sort of gave me an opportunity [to say] that, 'Yep, this is what I want to achieve and this is where I'd like to take the group for a certain amount of time'. And I think we can achieve great things in that time, but more so set it up for the next 10 years to be really successful."
Healy admitted the last 12 months had brought a degree of uncertainty with her filling in on a temporary basis for Lanning. Australia's white-ball form has slipped this year with ODI and T20I series defeats against England while they also gave up a T20I to West Indies when Hayley Matthews played a spectacular innings at North Sydney Oval.
"I think both Tahlia and I have probably felt like we've been warming the seat and I think that's probably been really tricky for [coach] Shelley Nitschke as well who's new into the role," Healy said. "We were all just a little bit unsure about what was going happen and obviously we wanted Meg to come back and we wanted her to lead the side.
"But it was filling in while we could and also probably living series to series which we identified that's not probably doing us any favours. We actually need to look long term and work towards World Cups and work towards big series and tournaments."
She added that Lanning's ability to carry the team "on her shoulders" is something she would aspire to do even if it meant slightly adjusting her mindset as a player.
"That probably hasn't always been the way that I've played my cricket and it's probably not been the way that I've led either," she said. "But if I can find some sort of middle ground in that regard and go, 'You know what, it's my time to go out there and win the game or play the innings or take the catch that wins it', then I'm going to do that as a leader and hopefully show the others that we can do it."
The decision to appoint Healy and McGrath was ratified at a Cricket Australia board meeting on Friday.
"Alyssa is an outstanding player and leader who has earned enormous respect both on and off the field," CA general manager of high-performance and national teams Ben Oliver said.
"Alyssa brings a wealth of experience to the role, and we have great confidence in her ability to successfully lead the Australian women's team in tandem with Tahlia as vice-captain.
"We are extremely fortunate to have a talented and experienced group of players who will provide great support to Alyssa and Tahlia as the team evolves and seeks to build on its outstanding performances."
McGrath, who looms as the heir apparent, relished the opportunity to support Healy.
"Alyssa and I have played together for a long time, we know our respective leadership styles well and I look forward to helping her lead our group as we embark on a busy but exciting international schedule," she said.
AAP contributed to this story

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo