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Tough runs leave Healy confident ahead of World Cup

The pitches in the Ashes have made life tricky for batters and there could be a benefit of that

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Alyssa Healy has not been at her free-flowing best against England  •  Getty Images

Alyssa Healy has not been at her free-flowing best against England  •  Getty Images

Alyssa Healy believes an Ashes series where runs have been hard to come by has set her up well for the ODI World Cup in New Zealand.
Healy has not been at her free-flowing best against England with the multi-format series including a pair in the Test match before a brace of hard-fought contributions in the first two ODIs.
It is those two performances that have left her confident that her game is in a good place for next month's World Cup with Australia set to fly to New Zealand two days after the Ashes finishes to undertake their ten-day quarantine.
"Probably the best thing that could have happened is these two wickets being a little bit tricky," Healy said. "The English bowlers are really skillful, they are using the seam really nicely, and not one batter has really flourished in this ODI part of the series. Moons [Beth Mooney] played a beautiful knock but it took her a long while to get going and knowing that making those tough runs early has been the best thing for me.
"Means my shape is good, I'm getting in good positions to keep the really good balls out, and the last two dismissals think I've found ways to get myself out which is weird tick of the box if that makes any sense."
Australia toured New Zealand last year and played three ODIs in early April which is the time of the year the World Cup will conclude. Healy made 65, 44 and 46 in those three matches.
"Feel like with the conditions [against England] not being perfect for batting it's been a great test of exactly where things are at and I'm really excited as to how things are tracking," she said. "Once we get over to New Zealand, if the wickets are similar I know I'm in a good position to dig in but if they are flat I know I'm in a great place to hit the ball like I normally do."
With one game to go of Australia's home international summer, Healy's top score is 77 which she made in the first ODI against India in late September. India's seamers performed really well in that multi-format series while England's have also caused plenty of challenges during the Ashes with Healy feeling the bowlers have held sway all season.
"The wickets here have been really conducive to seam bowling all summer," she said. "Hasn't felt like we've had a real flat track. From that point of view, I feel like our group and me, in particular, is really well prepared for whatever the wickets might throw at us [at the World Cup]."
Healy is also confident that the World Cup will see the best of Ellyse Perry who played the central role in the Ashes-winning victory in Melbourne with three wickets and a well-constructed 40 when most other batters struggled. Perry was left out of the T20Is at the start of the Ashes but remains a formidable ODI and Test cricketer.
"That six she hit over mid-off was a shot I've never really seen Pez hit before with that shape and flair," Healy said. "That's really exciting signs for us leading into a big world tournament that she's hitting her straps at the right time and probably a bit of concern for other sides around the world."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo