Australia selectors prepare for life after Lanning ahead of India

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Alastair Cook announces retirement from professional cricket


Australia coach Shelley Nitschke admits the changing of the guard has hit her faster than expected, as officials delay a decision on Meg Lanning’s full-time successor.

Selectors will announce a squad for next month’s multi-format tour of India on Tuesday, less than a week after Lanning’s shock retirement call.

A captain is unlikely to be named until closer to Australia’s departure on December 13, as a decision has yet to be made and approved by Cricket Australia’s board of directors.

Tahlia McGrath is the other potential option if officials prefer a longer-term replacement, given the 28-year-old has served as Healy’s understudy on recent tours.

“There are quite a few things to weigh up on that,” Nitschke told AAP. “It’s just a matter of following the process.

“Sit down with the selectors and the people who make those decisions and determine what is best moving forward.”

Nitschke knew when she took over as coach last year that she would oversee an important transition period for the conquering women’s team.

But that moment came after Lanning and his former deputy Rachael Haynes retired within the space of 14 months following a five-year period of Australian dominance.

“We always knew the transition was coming, but it probably didn’t unfold as expected,” Nitschke said. “We knew Rach was probably coming at some point.

“But I probably didn’t expect to be at this point and have Meg retire. We’ll certainly miss her. Although obviously she hasn’t been in the group for a while. I always thought she’d come back. … We’ll miss her presence and her leadership and everything else.” “.

Australia’s first mission in the post-Lanning era is a complicated one in India. The team wants to change its mentality in the three T20Is and ODIs with a more attacking approach, while the December 21 Test will be Australia’s first in the country since 1984.

Lanning’s recent absences have allowed Phoebe Litchfield to move up the top order, and there are unlikely to be any massive changes from the team that drew the Ashes series in July.

The fact that Australia regularly plays three spinners, including all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner, means Nitschke believes the team always looks like one that adapts to Indian conditions.

But the biggest challenge will come in strange conditions with the bat in the Test match, particularly without Lanning. Australia will be closely monitoring England’s test in Mumbai against India next month, and Nitschke is hopeful a warm-up match can be organised.

“If things start to change, particularly in the second inning, there could be some conditions that we haven’t faced in a while,” Nitchscke said. “That’s something most players wouldn’t have experienced before. We’ll have to talk about it and adapt pretty quickly.”