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Australian Cricket: Can Australia’s women deal with Lanning blow?

Australia’s women have been hit by a massive blow with the news that captain Meg Lanning will not feature in the Ashes series due to medical reasons.

The Ashes begins on 22nd June with the sole Test match against England taking place at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, but Lanning will not be leading the side. 

Australia will then play England in three T20 internationals and three One Day Internationals as part of the Tour of the UK 2023. 

It goes without saying, the loss of Lanning is a huge blow to Australia, and the question now being asked is can they cope without her? 

The Australian camp will be confident they have enough quality to get the job done in her absence, but for now the jury is out.

Lanning out due to medical reasons 

Cricket Australia announced that Lanning will not take part in this month’s Ashes Tour of England due to medical reasons. 

Lanning has an issue that requires treatment from home and after taking the advice of CA’s medical staff, she has pulled out of the tour. 

The news comes as a blow but the Australians will feel they have enough leaders in the squad to get the job done against England. 

Australia have since confirmed that Alyssa Healy will now captain the side, while Tahlia McGrath will be vice-captain.

Inspiring leadership 

Lanning has without doubt been an inspiring leader for the Australians and has overseen plenty of success during her reign. 

Australia have held the Ashes since 2015 and Lanning has been the skipper of the side during that time. The good news for Australia is the fact they have shown they can win the Ashes without Lanning. 

They did that in the 2017/18 series when she missed out through a shoulder injury. That series was played in Australia, but they coped without her and will feel they can do the same over in the UK.

Star performer with the bat 

Lanning has proven to be a star performer with the bat, and there is no doubt that Australia will miss her runs over in the UK. 

Lanning has played 28 matches for Australia, scoring 1127 runs at an average of 38.86. Her highest total was 133 not out, while she has a total of two centuries and seven half-centuries. 

Australia have confirmed that Lanning will not be directly replaced in the squad but they do have the option of calling up players from the Australia ‘A’ squad that is also touring the UK throughout June and July. 

They also still have Ellyse Perry, who is the only player to have scored more runs than Lanning, in their side. 

Perry has an average of 59.38 from the 35 matches she has played and can step up to the plate in the absence of Lanning. 

There is also enough strength in depth throughout the Australian batting order to cope without their captain.

Can Australia cope without her? 

Only time will tell, but all the signs suggest that Australia will be able to retain the Ashes on English soil without Lanning. 

She will be a loss for sure, as would be the case for any team that loses an influential leader who also gets the job done out in the middle. 

However, in the form of Healy, they have a stand-in skipper with plenty of experience having made her Test debut back in 2011. 

Australia have had the benefit of a settled side over the last couple of years and they know how to play together and, more importantly, win together.

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