Growth of fast bowlers across Australia has been exciting, says Megan Schutt
Megan Schutt of Adelaide Strikers. © Getty Images
After the conclusion of the ODI leg of the series between India and Australia on September 26, Megan Schutt took to Twitter. The number three ranked ODI bowler, who missed the entire series due to the birth of her daughter - Riley - tweeted jokingly about not getting back into the Australian side because of the depth in their squad.
Her Australia team-mate and number one ranked ODI bowler Jess Jonassen, who was ruled out of the series due to an injury, seconded that and replied “You and me both sister.” Both of them were in high praise of the young Australian bowling contingent, including the likes of Darcie Brown, Hannah Darlington, and Stella Campbell.
28-year-old Schutt marked her return to competitive cricket after a hiatus of six months with Adelaide Strikers' match against Perth Scorchers on Saturday (October 30). Speaking at a media interaction on the eve of the match, she commented on the growth of the young bowling unit in general and Brown in particular.
“Darcie was always a big prospect and she is really just finding out herself as a cricketer,” Schutt said. “She is still new to the game and honestly doesn’t even have a whole lot of experience under her belt. That’s what, I guess, is most exciting.”
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Brown played the sixth edition of the WBBL under Schutt’s leadership and found her way in the Australian team against New Zealand. Schutt has witnessed her mentee’s growth as a bowler up and close and she believes things have changed a lot for the young bowler from South Australia.
“She is learning her game and actually controlling that ball now. I think, where she was at a few years ago, I could have told her to bowl a bouncer and she was going to give them a half-volley. How things have changed in that time is really exciting. The growth of fast bowlers across the entire country was shown in the Indian series, which is really cool," Schutt said.
When asked about how does it feel to come back Schutt immediately replied “Refreshing!”. “I knew I was going to miss it. but, watching the game on the TV was very strange. I must say, I didn’t like it at all. I was itching to get back," she added.
Schutt’s wife, Jesicca, gave birth to the couple’s daughter on August 17. Schutt reflected on this journey by saying, "It's been a heck of a journey, so many ups, and downs, and it's been super unique. That's been the crazy part of it, the people we feel the most connected to are the people in the NICU at the hospital, who have gone through the same thing.”
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The former captain Strikers captain is currently in Perth for the Scorchers' match and the fixture against Melbourne Renegades on Sunday.
"I have played cricket for long enough that I'm just going to get back into the swing of things,” Schutt said when asked how she will approach things on her return.
"I'm just hoping that natural gut takes over and what I have been doing for the last eight years professionally of my life will kick in and I'm just going to enjoy it. Just be able to get out there and play cricket again is going to be really exciting. There are a few new faces in the team and seeing how the girls have been going, (that's also) just really exciting.”
Strikers recruited well in the off season and acquired the likes of Dane van Niekerk from the Sydney Sixers. They also have Laura Wolvaardt and skipper Tahlia McGrath in the form of her life. Schutt believes Strikers are showing their potential in the season with bat and ball.
"We've shown consistency with the ball, we've always been strong with that but now we're showing our firepower with the bat. The inclusion of people like Dane van Niekerk, and Laura Wolvaardt taking the game on harder and earlier, and Tahlia McGrath being in the form of her life, I just think it's one hell of a line-up," Schutt concluded.