Megan not being there does leave a bit of a hole: Meg Lanning

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Melbourne, Aug 18 (IANS) Australian women’s cricket team skipper Meg Lanning said on Wednesday that the absence of pace spearhead Megan Schutt leaves a hole in the squad for the multi-format series against India beginning September 19.

The 28-year-old Megan, who has been taking the new ball for Australia since 2017, has requested not to be included in the series against India due to personal reasons. She will remain in Adelaide with her wife Jess, due to deliver their first child in early November.

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“There’s no doubt that Megan not being there does leave a bit of a hole … she’s such a consistent player so I will certainly miss her, but we’ve got a number of fast bowling options and we’ve been working on building depth in that area for a while now,” Meg was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

Meg remarked that Megan’s absence is an opportunity for others to excel. Apart from the experienced Ellyse Perry, Australia’s pace options include Tayla Vlaeminck, Darcie Brown, Annabel Sutherland, Tahlia McGrath and uncapped pair of Stella Campbell and Matilan Brown.

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“Bringing Stella Campbell into the into the mix is really exciting, she brings some real genuine pace and bounce, and we have Darcie Brown who was in New Zealand not too long ago. You put that with Tayla Vlaeminck and Ellyse Perry and Annabel Sutherland (and) we feel like we’ve got some really good options there.”

Meg also backed 22-year-old Tayla to have a full season of cricket after being troubled by injuries to foot, knee and shoulder in last five years.

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“I’ve seen Tayla up close over the last six months working on her physical ability and bowling skills … she certainly puts in a lot of hard work. She’s been very unlucky with the injuries so far in her career, and you just want her to have a really good run at it at some point.”

The 29-year-old added, “She’s certainly in our plans to try and become a really important bowler for us, and has got some attributes that are very unique, and really challenge batters from different perspectives.”

Meg admitted that she is yet to decide upon who will take the new ball in Megan’s absence. “To be honest, I haven’t quite looked at who might take that that new ball, but the exciting thing is we’ve got so many options to look at and it just provides such a great opportunity for players to step up and see what they’ve got.”

–IANS

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