Alyssa Healy continues to pass fitness checks ahead of ‘s World T20 semi-final in Antigua.Alyssa Healy’s rise to superstardom under new responsibility as a senior player and opener explain why so much depends on her fitness for ‘s World Twenty20 semi-final against hosts West Indies.
Wicketkeeper-batter Healy got through a skills drill successfully on Wednesday (AEDT) as she fights to prove her recovery from concussion suffered in an on-field collision on the weekend.
Doctors will wait to see how she pulls up on Thursday before putting her through a nets session ahead of Friday’s game in Antigua.
The 28-year-old’s inclusion is crucial for , given her form, not just in this tournament but over the past year since moving from a floating middle-order bat to her childhood role of opener.
She has averaged 37.20 since becoming a full-time opener, and gone at a strike-rate 144.18 in T20 cricket, thriving on the new responsibility.
She’s also hit half-centuries in six of her past eight T20 innings, claiming player-of-the-match honours in all three of ‘s wins in the Caribbean with a tournament-high average of 78.50.
“It really suits my game style,” Healy told AAP of the opening role.
“It’s not about a change in mindset, it’s about going out there and expressing myself and playing the natural game of cricket I have grown up playing which is aggressive.
“I can take the game on and get us into a position early that we can capitalise on. It’s the role I play in this group.”
That responsibility has fit in well with a new-found understanding of being a senior leader on and off the field.
Healy debuted for in 2010 as a 19-year-old and has long played in a dominant NSW Breakers side that included the likes of veterans Alex Blackwell, Leah Poulton and Lisa Sthalekar.
But this summer she was elevated to Breakers captaincy, forcing her to accept her seniority and added responsibility.
“It’s really scary to be honest with you,” Healy said.
“I was always the young kid in every side and the immature one who was really enjoying myself and not worrying too much.
“But it’s only been in the past 18 months or so that shifted. I look at (youngsters) Georgia (Wareham) and Tayla (Vlaeminck) and think that was me back then and I’m actually a little bit older.
“I thought I was going to be the young punk forever but it’s not always the case. I think it has actually helped me as a cricketer, feeling comfortable in my own skin and my role in the team.”
HEALY’S GOLDEN T20 SUMMER
* 14 off 9 vs NZ
* 57 off 41 vs NZ
* 67 off 44 vs NZ
* 59 off 35 vs Pakistan
* 6 off 9 vs Pakistan
* 67no off 44 vs Pakistan
* 48 off 29 vs Pakistan
* 56no off 31 vs Ireland
* 53 off 38 vs NZ