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Healy thrilled with Bangladesh gains ahead of T20 World Cup

Australia's captain said her side were challenged by Bangladesh's bowlers in tough conditions

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
05-Apr-2024
Alyssa Healy hit nine fours (and a six) in her unbeaten half-century, Bangladesh vs Australia, 1st T20I, Dhaka, March 31, 2024

Alyssa Healy: 'Everybody's standing up and when they need to, and grabbing opportunities'  •  Getty Images

Alyssa Healy was left delighted with the experience and knowledge her team were able to take away from the tour of Bangladesh with an eye on the T20 World Cup later this year.
Australia completed a cleansweep of the visit, their first in bilateral cricket, with a 77-run victory in the final T20I and it was the fourth time their bowling attack kept Bangladesh to under 100. They will return in late September to defend the T20 World Cup title and Healy believed the trip ticked plenty of boxes.
"Everyone in the squad is taking something home that they can work on for when we come back here in September, so it's been hugely worthwhile for us," Healy said. "The results went our way but from a big picture perspective, and what we're building towards in September, October, I think we got everything we possibly could out of this series."
The tour was concluded with two players returning from long-term injuries, Tayla Vlaeminck and Sophie Molineux, taking player of the match and series awards respectively. Vlaeminck took a career-best 3 for 12 while Molineux finished the T20I series with six wickets at 8.33 as the pair all-but assured their places at the World Cup.
"It's obviously great to have someone like Tay back, she's a real point of different within world cricket, with the sheer pace she bowls with, and Soph Molineux's consistency is outstanding so they're both real attributes to our side," Healy said.
"We've had different players of the match and different players of the series across the two series, so that's been really pleasing as well. Everybody's standing up and when they need to, and grabbing opportunities which is cool."
Although the margins of victory were convincing in all six matches, Healy felt her team had been put under pressure by the home side. In the first ODI they were 48 for 4 and 146 for 7 before the lower order lifted them to a strong total and in the final T20I had to work hard to post 155 from being 98 for 5.
"In particular with the ball they [Bangladesh] challenged our batting line-up," she said. "They will be a real threat come the World Cup. Home conditions are a real advantage and I think the team will fly under the radar a little bit. They'll be really dangerous for some of the top sides."
The conditions, especially the heat, also pushed the visitors with Healy prepared for more of the same at the World Cup although did not expect the pitches early in the tournament to offer the extreme turn seen at times in this series. Australia will split their matches between Dhaka and Sylhet which was not part of this tour.
"We've heard it [the heat] will be even worse come September, October so we'll have to wait and see what it throws at us there," Healy said. "Naturally being an ICC event, I think the wickets will start out being really good then probably tire throughout the tournament."
Kim Garth, who took five wickets in the two ODIs she played, and legspinner Alana King did not feature in the T20I series as Australia used just 12 players in three games. King has not played a T20I since the last World Cup in South Africa although will likely retain her spot as back-up to Georgia Wareham. The experienced Jess Jonassen was the significant omission for this tour while Darcie Brown was ruled out with a stress fracture of her foot.
The central contract list will be announced early next week while the players themselves now have time off following a hectic season which included series against West Indies, India and South Africa alongside the WBBL and, for many, the WPL.
They will return to action with a T20I series against New Zealand in September as a lead-in to the World Cup, which will be followed straight after by the WBBL. They then host India in December and travel to New Zealand before Christmas ahead of the multiformat Ashes in January.
"We've got a great break now. Our group is looking forward to going home and having a little bit of time off and a great opportunity to refresh and actually get ourselves right for the back end of the year, which is a huge summer for us," Healy said.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo