Healy '100%' keen on Australia captaincy, lauds 'unmatched' Lanning

The more immediate issue is the wicketkeeper's fitness, but she is confident of being ready for India

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
11-Nov-2023 • 7 hrs ago
Alyssa Healy is confident she will be fit for the tour of India and has confirmed she wants to take on the Australia captaincy full time following Meg Lanning's retirement.
Healy has stood in for Lanning over the last 12 months - on a tour of India, for the Ashes in England and the recent series against West Indies - but now a decision needs to be made about who takes the role in the longer term, after Lanning called time on her career at the age of 31, with a T20 World Cup and an ODI edition in the next two years plus a home Ashes next summer.
Following the tour of England earlier this year, Healy spoke of having found the extra burden of captaincy a tough task to manage alongside her wicketkeeping and batting, but it has not dulled her enthusiasm for the job.
"I've been filling in in the anticipation that Meg will come back, but at the end of the day the decision of who the next skipper will be is up to the powers that be, whether they look long term or short term I'm not 100% certain on that," she said. "I've had a nice little taste of it and, yes, 100% I would put my hand up to do it again if called upon. But that's for somebody else to decide and if it is somebody else then I'll happily support them as best as I can for the rest of my career.
"I feel like I've learnt a lot about myself but also a lot about our group and potentially what we need to do to continue to evolve. I've had to learn along the way how we are going to do that and how I can best try and help the players do that. It's been fun learnings and grateful at 33 that I've had the opportunity to learn more about myself as a player."
Reflecting on Lanning's career, which included four consecutive World Cup titles across the two formats, Healy believed it placed her at the very top of achievements in Australian cricket.
"She just grew into the role a little bit more, became more assured herself as a leader," Healy said. "We all knew her capabilities as a player but what she did as a captain as well just enhanced those skills as a player…and made her more determined to go out there and win the game for your country, which as a team-mate there's nothing much better than that.
"The success rate she had as skipper and the amount of wins and trophies we won under her, think it's pretty unmatched in the women's and men's game. Her legacy as a leader in Australian cricket will be remembered for a lot longer than her amazing skills on the field."
The squad for the India tour is expected to be named next week and Healy's name will be there, but she will still need to prove her recovery from the badly injured finger she suffered when bitten by her dog at home last month. Healy added her main concern was around the impact on her batting rather than the wicketkeeping. The tour starts with a Test match on December 21.
"Hard to give you a direct [answer], but everything is going really well," she said. "It's on schedule as much as you can say that. In my own head I'm playing that Test match but it's all going to be how my finger functions and whether I can do my job properly to play a Test in India.
"I'm highly confident [and] everyone who is in charge of it seems to be highly confident that it will take place but at the moment it's just being really patient, letting in heal then we can try to push a little bit closer to time."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo