Having played in just her second test match, Bowler Annabel Sutherland looks to have asserted herself into the Australian setup, following an impressive performance in the Ashes Series against England in Canberra.
Working in tandem with fellow pace bowlers Darcie Brown, Ellyse Perry, and Tahlia McGrath, Sutherland would be impactful in both innings. Taking two wickets in the first innings, she’d step up with three wickets in the second session when England looked to be running away with the game and getting an important draw.
Having been a regular in their international setup but not yet a walk-up start in Meg Lanning’s first XI, Sutherland said she’d be waiting for her opportunity, further saying she takes a lot of confidence out of her Ashes performance.
“I always wanted to be able to take an opportunity when it’s thrown at me, and I guess the nature of this Australian team is that it doesn’t happen that often because of the depth we’ve got,” Sutherland told media on Tuesday.
“Just being able to take that role and take the ball when they threw it to me and do my job, I feel like I’ve been ready to do that the past year or so, but you certainly take a lot of confidence in the role I was able to play.”
Though finishing the game strong, Sutherland admitted it wasn’t a perfect performance, having struggled when facing English batter Sophia Dunkley.
Sutherland said she was surprised to be given the opportunity to bowl again, but says was happy to be given the chance to redeem herself.
“My first over at that end wasn’t great, I got hit for two sixes, which I guess showed [how well] the knocks Sophia Dunkley played, and how well she played,” she said.
“I was a bit surprised to get thrown the ball again after that over, but was happy to play my role, we changed our tactics a little bit coming around the wicket and try to target the leg stump a little more which seemed to work.
“I was just happy to do my job, I think Kingy [Alana King] at the other end was exceptional, throughout the whole test match she bowled really well, and it was cool to share that with her.”
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Throughout the day Sutherland was seen getting plenty of advice from teammates Ellyse Perry, Meg Lanning, and Rachael Haynes, with the bowler saying the senior players were a great help in making sure she’d stay composed.
“We were just talking about the length I was bowling each ball and we really just wanted to get it right given we’d fought so hard to get back in the game,” she said.
“It was really cool to have Pez [Perry] there next to me, and she was really good in keeping me calm and just focusing on what I needed to.
Sutherland would also comment on the condition of the Manuka Oval wicket, saying that the conditions had a major influence on the game.
“I thought it was a really good wicket, I think it was tough to bat on in the first day or two, and I think England bowled exceptionally well, particularly Katherine Brunt [who was] just challenging the edge of our batters a lot,” she said.
“I think there was a bit in it for bat and ball and obviously it flattened out a little bit as the day went on [in] day four.
“It was always going to be a challenge to take 10 wickets on that wicket given it had sun on it all day, but I thought it was a really good wicket and I guess it helped create that drama towards the end in that last session.”
Also commenting on whether the ICC should schedule more test matches for the women’s side, Sutherland said more playing red-ball games was something she would love to be a part of.
“I think it should [lead to the ICC giving women more test matches], I think when you get a test match where in that last session on day four you can have any result happen it’s pretty exciting viewing,” she said.
“I think from a playing perspective, the more we play the more we guess we’ll get used to the nature of test cricket, we just love getting to put on the baggy green, it’ll be cool to be able to play more.”
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