Megan Schutt: Smriti’s got the wood over me

Megan Schutt exults after picking up a wicket. © ICC

Shafali Verma had got India off to good starts in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020. She scored 161 runs before the finals and it was clear whose wicket Australia wanted on March 8 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Megan Schutt, the Australian speedster, delivered the first blow by dismissing the teenage prodigy from which India could not recover. She has undone many an experienced batter with her pace and movement. From the outset it should have been easier for her to see the back of a youngster taking initial steps in international cricket. But that’s not how Schutt sees it.

“Age is just a number to me in all factors of life! If they’re good enough to be playing international cricket then you know they are there for that reason,” she said, when asked about her plan to young batters like Verma vis a vis experienced ones like Mithali Raj.

“So, obviously (they are) two completely different types of players in terms of their style and the way they approach their game. Obviously their plans would be a bit different. But Verma was obviously a challenge for us in the T20 World Cup. Luckily for us she didn’t make too many in the final which went a long way to us winning that. Two very key players there, but also completely different in terms of how they play their cricket. But yeah, age doesn’t define how I’d bowl against them.”

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Despite having played over a 100 international matches, Schutt admits that she still struggles a bit when it comes to bowling to Smriti Mandhana.

“I’ve said it for a long time, Smriti’s probably my devil there,” she said.

“She’s got the wood over me. She’s a left-hander, she’s different for me, and I’m honestly trying to make some plans to adapt to that. I think left-handers have always been a little bit of an issue of mine. Probably my numbers aren’t as good when you stack them next to each other. So for me, now I’ve got a complete off season to try and work on developing some swing from around the wicket to the left-handers specifically.”

Well, we saw the result when she last said she was scared of bowling against India. Is this another disguise?