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Healy unfazed by rare Ashes workload

Alyssa Healy is backing herself to cope with both opening the batting and keeping wicket while Australia’s coaches monitor the workload of her once-in-a-decade role in Test cricket.

Australia will head to Manuka Oval with a chance to wrap up the Ashes, after Adelaide’s big wet left them 4-2 up in the multi-series format.

Healy is the only certainty at the top of the batting order for Australia, with Beth Mooney racing to prove her fitness after undergoing jaw surgery last week.

But Healy’s job does come with a serious workload.

She is the only keeper to regularly open the batting in men’s or women’s Test matches since Pakistan’s Kamran Akmal way back in 2007.

That was highlighted in Australia’s most recent Test against India, where Healy kept for 145 overs and had to bat straight after.

But the 31-year-old was confident her body would be up to the rigours of Test cricket in Canberra.

“There’s ongoing chats about it,” Healy said.

“The approach we took in that last Test match we played was ‘we’ll see how we go’.

“If things don’t quite go to plan and we’re out in the field for an extended period of time and I am feeling fatigued, then we make that call on the fly.

“But I’m always going to stick my hand up and say I’m ready to go and ready to contribute.”

Australia will, meanwhile, have to choose between Rachael Haynes and Mooney at the top with Healy.

Australia’s white-ball opener Mooney opened for the first time in the Test against India earlier this summer, with Haynes out injured.

The now-retired Nicole Bolton opened in the 2019 Ashes, but Haynes has also filled the role before and is preparing as if she will do so this week.

“That’s a conversation for Meg (Lanning) and Motty (coach Matt Mott) to have,” Haynes said.

“I’ve certainly been preparing like I will back in the top order. So facing plenty of the new ball.

“I know it could end up in the middle, but I’m definitely preparing to open at this stage.”

Meanwhile, Haynes backed teenage NSW quick Stella Campbell to be added to the squad and be an option for the Test with Tayla Vlaeminck’s Ashes ruined by injury.

Campbell took record figures of 7-25 for NSW against ACT at Manuka Oval earlier this month, after debuting in the October Test against India.

“Having seen first-hand the damage she did against ACT and the wicket … she’d definitely come into calculations,” Haynes said.

“Particularly in red-ball cricket, where your ability to take wickets is obviously fundamental to winning Test matches.”

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