Beth Mooney feels that Australia will attack the ODI World Cup with belief that anybody can help them win from any position, having produced a career-best knock to snatch a stunning victory over India in Mackay.
Mooney, promoted to open in the injury-enforced absence of Rachael Haynes, finished 125 not out as her side rallied from 4-52 to reel in Friday’s victory target of 275.
It was Australia’s 26th straight win in the format but none of those games have matched the drama of the latest, which had seemingly ended as India celebrated victory only for the final delivery to be judged a no-ball by the third umpire for being too high.
The multi-format series continues, with a third and final ODI on Sunday, but the one-day World Cup, which is being hosted by New Zealand and starts in March, looms large for the rivals.
Mooney, who was dropped on one and admitted she thought Australia “were gone for all money” after their top-order collapse, feels the remarkable fightback reflects how far her side have come since the 2017 World Cup.
Australia stumbled at the semi-final stage of that tournament, when India set them an imposing target of 282 in 42 overs.
“That’s going to give us a huge boost, especially leading into that World Cup,” Mooney said.
“We’ve been in that situation before against India, obviously in that 2017 semi, and they’re a world-class side.
“To be composed the whole way through that innings with someone like Tahlia [McGrath], who hasn’t played a lot of international cricket, shows the gains we’ve made in domestic cricket.
“And the importance of getting [new] people in this squad, involved in games and exposed to these kind of series.
Mooney formed key partnerships with McGrath, who scored 74, and Nicola Carey, who finished 39 not out, to secure victory.
“I hope I can still get better. I was a bit annoyed at myself at the start,” the star batter said, lamenting her role in Ellyse Perry’s run out.
Mooney — who was named player of the tournament at last year’s Twenty20 World Cup then collected the Belinda Clark award as Australia’s best women’s international cricketer earlier this year — deflected praise to McGrath.
Exhibiting great composure and skill, McGrath also snared three wickets during a vital spell.
“We just keep churning out these players who come out on the big stage and look like they’ve been there for years,” Mooney said.