Megan Schutt celebrates one of her wickets last night as Australia defeated England and retained the Women's Ashes. Image: cricket.com.au

Despite a bout of COVID-19 over the Christmas break for experienced fast bowler Megan Schutt and her family, as well as sitting out of the Women's test last week, she insists that her experience helped her in her return on Thursday's ODI against England.

Despite a bout of COVID-19 over the Christmas break for experienced fast bowler Megan Schutt and her family, as well as sitting out of the Women’s Test last week, she insists that her experience helped her in her return on Thursday’s ODI against England.

When on break from national duties over Christmas, Megan Schutt and her wife Jess tested positive for COVID-19. Their daughter Rylee tested negative but Megan was told she probably would have had it at some stage.

This coupled with the non-inclusion of the star fast bowler at selection at the beginning of the only test had her chomping-at-the-bit to play.

“ODI is actually my preferred format, you get a bit of everything in there,” she said

“You get to build pressure at the start there and you’ve got the death overs T20 style at the end there and for me, I kind of get to do all three there, the areas of the game, and that for me I love.

“It was pretty exciting, there was a bit of a wait to come back in, it’s been a long time since I’ve stepped on field for an ODI and even got to have a bat. I think it’s been four years since that even happened so lots of excitement out there for me today and great to get the win.

“I think the extended break over Christmas we had a break with our state teams then COVID kind of hit, so it wasn’t the ideal kind of preparation.

“I think I hadn’t fielded a ball in like three and a half weeks so hands are a bit soft which wasn’t great.”

“I’ve been doing it for a long time especially at this level and I just back my skillset to come in and play cricket and that’s what I got to do.”

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Forming a formidable partnership at the Adelaide Strikers in the WBBL and the Scorpions in the WNCL, Darcie Brown recently joined Schutt at the ODI arena.

The 18-year-old has continued her recent scintillating form with four wickets off her 10 overs for 34 runs. These wickets were those of top-order batter Tammy Beaumont who looked shaky at the crease as well as the dangerous captain Heather Knight for a golden duck halting possible momentum for the English.

The next wicket broke a possible game-changing contribution when she caught Nat Sciver off her own bowling for 45. Sophie Ecclestone was the last dismissal for Brown, a vital one meaning one wicket would seal a win for the Aussies.

“To have her in this site is incredible, I’ve obviously been doing it for a little bit at state level and known what she is capable of and she was always going to be great if she got the opportunity at this level and she just shines,” Schutt said of her South Australian and Adelaide Strikers teammate.

“She’s free-flowing, simple instructions for her are best and she just goes out there and tries her hardest and it’s beautiful to see.”

Young Australian quick Darcie Brown took her first Test wicket early on day 2. (Photo: ICC/Twitter)

Schutt herself had a brilliant performance in tandem with Brown, she collected two wickets of her own for 39 runs off her nine overs bowled. Lauren Winfield-Hill was one of the two batters removed after settling in at the crease by Schutt as well as the low-order hitting of Danielle Wyatt.

Included in this bowling display was Schutt’s 100th One Day International wicket. Schutt makes it the second-fastest bowler to do so after her mentor Cathryn Fitzpatrick.

“I didn’t know that stat until Tahlia (McGrath) came out and gave me a head-rub and ruined my hair,”

“It’s something that I never thought I would achieve, I didn’t think I was going to play cricket that long and stick around in this side so for me it’s an awesome achievement but there’s plenty to go.”

“It’s pretty cool as ‘Fitz’ was the start of my career and handed a couple me a couple of caps as well and taught me, my journey at the start of my Aussie career, it’s actually really cool, I don’t think I will ever pass Cathryn but she just had a few more clicks on me so it’s the couple of extra wickets there.”

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