Eng vs Aus, Women’s Ashes – Alyssa Healy considers putting test match opening reel on the water

Australia could be forced to bleed an all-new opening combination in next month’s women’s Ashes Test, with Alyssa Healy seriously considering scrapping the order to manage the workload.

Healy opened for Australia in the last three Tests dating back to 2019, taking on the role she has regularly filled in the game of white ball. But the vice-captain is wary of the impact the wicket will have on her in Test cricket.

“I’ve thought about it a lot. And it’s been up for debate for a while,” Healy told AAP. “In the last Test match, look, I raised my hand and I wanted to do it. It was my decision to open the bat and I thought it would be a great place to bat.

“I probably underestimated the work I would have to do in the field because I don’t have to do that all the time. I really enjoyed it, and when the time comes and they want me to open, okay, great . But I’d like to slide to the middle and hit a Dukes ball around.”

Healy is the only player in the men’s or women’s game to open wicket-keeping and the batting in different formats. Asked if she preferred to drop the order now and bat at No. 6 or No. 7, as she did when she debuted in Test cricket, Healy said that was the case.

“It was hard. I’m not trying to get a cop out, but it was mentally very hard to open and hold,” Healy said. “Knowing what the conditions might be like in England, the Dukes ball swings around a bit longer.

“The chances behind the stumps will be very important. So getting that job right will be my priority. And wherever I have to pass with the bat, that’s going to be great.”

Healy is aware that the decision will be a long-term one, with Australia set to play three Tests over the next eight months and another opening combination already looming after Rachael Haynes’ retirement last year.

Beth Mooney is favored to step forward to take Haynes’ place at Trent Bridge on June 22, when the Test matches open the multi-format Ashes series after previously topping the table.

Rising star Phoebe Litchfield would then be an option to make her Test debut as an opening after an impressive start to her international white-ball career last summer.