Australia has won the first ODI taking an unassailable 8-4 lead. The heroics of Beth Mooney’s 73 helped Australia put up a score of 205 and win the first ODI by 27 runs to take a 1-0 lead.
Beth Mooney has surprised all by remarkably quick recovery from a fractured jaw. She had injured herself in the nets when a ball hit her jaw. She had to go through surgery and it was announced that she was ruled out of the Ashes and her availability for World Cup would be confirmed only after her surgery. However just 2 days after her surgery she was seen back in the nets practicing. In the next week, she was in the squad for the ODIs and won Player of the Match for her knock in the first ODI difficult conditions. Her performance and return to the squad is a huge relief and plus to the team. She is currently the number one ranked T20 batter and top 10 in ODIs. Her injury was a huge scare.
However, the Australian Team might still hold off on making Beth Mooney play more games in the Ashes. She was seen leaving the field with a tight quadricep during the first ODI. Australia might be taking a conservative approach and rest Mooney for the rest of the series as they will be looking at the World Cup which is going to start in less than a month.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if our staff took a little bit of a conservative approach with Moons just given how crucial she is to our line-up,” Australia vice-captain Rachael Haynes said on Saturday.
They would want to be cautious with their key players making sure they are not over-exhausted and run out of gas before the big tournament.
“It’s sort of a bit of a tricky time because you want to make sure you’re peaking at the right moment,” Vice-Captain Rachel Haynes said. “You don’t want to peak too early and then all of a sudden you get to a World Cup and run out of gas.
On the other hand, Ashes is a big series for them as well so they would not lose their focus here too. In the 2017 ashes series, Australia was on their way to win the Ashes but England made a comeback to tie it 8-8. They would be determined to not let that repeat. With 2 matches left, even though Australia has taken an unassailable 8-4 lead, there is still a possibility that England can tie the series. This will happen only if England wins both the remaining ODIs. England and Australia have a lot of decisions to make on the combinations they pick so that they don’t lose focus on the Ashes as well as be fresh and ready for the World Cup.