Women’s Ashes 2022: All the latest news for the Canberra Test

Liz WalshNews Corp Australia Sports Newsroom
Australia's Beth Mooney could be a surprise inclusion in the one-off Ashes Test in Canberra less than two weeks after breaking her jaw. Phil Hillyard
Camera IconAustralia's Beth Mooney could be a surprise inclusion in the one-off Ashes Test in Canberra less than two weeks after breaking her jaw. Phil Hillyard Credit: News Corp Australia

Australian opener Beth Mooney could make a stunning return to cricket in Thursday’s Ashes Test in Canberra, less than a fortnight after fracturing her jaw.

If there was a bright side to the persistent Adelaide rain that saw the third and final T20I abandoned, it was the sight of Mooney jogging laps around the Adelaide Oval boundary.

Aussie vice-captain Rachael Haynes said Mooney, who had surgery to repair her broken jaw on January 18, had also returned to the nets for some batting practice.

“It’s been really nice to see how she’s progressed and even little things over the last couple of days, the swelling around her face has gone down quite substantially,” Haynes said.

ICC - Aus Cricket
Camera IconAustralia's Beth Mooney could be a surprise inclusion in the one-off Ashes Test in Canberra less than two weeks after breaking her jaw. Phil Hillyard Credit: News Corp Australia

“She’s feeling really confident … and by all accounts she’s not in any pain, it’s just about her stepping through the markers she needs to get through and without a doubt she’s got her eye on that Test.”

But while the Aussies are buoyed by the possible return of Mooney, Haynes said the team was “gutted” for their quick Tayla Vlaeminck, who has been ruled out of the rest of the Ashes Series and March’s ICC Women’s 50-over World Cup with an acute navicular stress fracture in her right foot.

“It was a pretty quiet changeroom when we found out the news, we’re so disappointed for her,” Haynes said.

“We’re just really gutted for her, she’s a great girl, really popular and obviously extremely skilful as well, so she’ll be a bit of a loss for us on the field, but we’ll certainly be thinking of her and hoping for the best recovery possible.”

The injury is a big blow to the 23-year-old pace bowler, who also missed out on Australia’s successful T20 World Cup campaign in 2020 with a similar injury.

Australian team doctor Phillipa Inge said Vlaeminck’s 2020 injury had completely healed, but she’d felt pain after the side’s nine-wicket win over England on Thursday night, with scans confirming the injury.

Sunday’s T20I was abandoned without a ball being bowled after Saturday’s match was also abandoned.

With the points shared from the two abandoned matches, the Aussies now head to Canberra’s Manuka Oval with a 4-2 lead in the series, acutely aware that a win in Thursday’s Test will see them retain the Ashes.

“(The Test) will huge in the context of the series,” Haynes said.

“There’s going to be a lot riding on it and I’ll be interested to see the wicket down in Canberra, we had a national league game down there before this series started and there was a lot of grass on the wicket, it was very green compared with other times I’ve played at Manuka Oval.

“It’s an intriguing point in the series knowing that if one team can get a result out of this Test, it will really set up the series.”

England captain Heather Knight said her side would take clear plans into the Test to win, after being unable to get back in the series after their first loss with the abandoned games.

“We’ll have to look at how better we can win that. With Test Match cricket, you have to earn the right to be aggressive, so it’s finding the right approach that we think’s going to win us the game … and take those four points,” she said.

“If we can get a win it puts us in a really strong position going into the one-day internationals.”

Originally published as Women’s Ashes 2022: All the latest news for the Canberra Test

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails