Photo Credit: ICC
Shelley Nitschke has backed Beth Mooney to rediscover her best form ahead of Australia’s Group 1 clash with Bangladesh in Gqeberha.
The opener has been a reliable source of runs since her debut in 2016 but has recorded back-to-back ducks in South Africa, dismissed without scoring in the warm-up defeat to Ireland and again in the Group 1 opener against New Zealand.
The reigning champions recovered to comfortably beat the White Ferns by 97 runs on Saturday and head coach Nitschke has no doubt Mooney will soon be back in the groove.
“When it comes to the crunch, Moons always delivers for us,” she said.
“There are no concerns, she is hitting the ball well, has good plans and she is not overthinking it.
“I am really confident she will be fine in this tournament.”
Mooney’s opening partner Alyssa Healy made a fluent 38-ball 55 against New Zealand as her successful comeback from a calf injury continued.
Healy, who also made 62 against Ireland before the competitive action began, is looking to win a remarkable sixth ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and her experience could prove vital in the weeks ahead.
“Her performance was a testament to the player she is and the professionalism through her recovery from that injury,” Nitschke said.
“The way she struck the ball in the practice game against Ireland was excellent, she has been playing well in the nets and it is really pleasing to see her out there again scoring runs.
“It is a really good story and a great comeback for her.”
Australia are not underestimating the threat posed by Bangladesh, with a particularly keen eye kept on teenage seamer Marufa Akter following her sparkling display against Sri Lanka, when she finished with three for 23.
“She bowls very nicely and she is someone we’ve spoken about today,” Nitschke added.
“I’m sure the batters will have a look at her and think about plans to her. She was fantastic last night so we need to be on the lookout for her when she gets the ball in hand.”
Marufa’s performance was the standout in Bangladesh’s opening clash, which ultimately saw them go down by seven wickets.
Off-spinner Salma Khatun caused Australia problems when the sides met in last year’s ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, taking three wickets, and Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana Joty is looking forward to seeing what her attack can do this time around.
“This is a very good wicket for the pace bowlers,” she said.
“Marufa was stunning [against Sri Lanka], she is super talented. I am looking forward to seeing her bowl against Australia the same way she bowled against Sri Lanka.
“We had a preview meeting after that match, we had to discuss a few areas we need to work on if we want to be successful in the next matches.
“Our coach has a good plan against Australia, so we are working on that.”