Beth Mooney has been a rock at the top of Australia’s batting order in recent years.
Beth Mooney has been a rock at the top of Australia’s batting order in recent years.

Mooney’s old school values perfect for modern game

Away from the crease, Beth Mooney is a meticulous planner: entirely risk-averse, she weighs up all the facts before making a decision about anything.

As such, she doesn't own any shares, recently fretted about buying a house and she's never bet on anything in her life.

But when she's at the crease, it's pure and simple instinct.

 

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"I'm not a spontaneous person," she says.

"Change scares me a little bit, as it does for most humans, so I'll collect all the information before I make a decision about anything.

 

Beth Mooney has been a rock at the top of Australia’s batting order in recent years.
Beth Mooney has been a rock at the top of Australia’s batting order in recent years.

"I have to think through everything, all the possible outcomes before I'm ready … every decision I make comes with a lot of thinking time.

"So cricket's a good one because it puts me under the pump with my decision making."

As an example, Mooney explains what happened when she recently bought a house.

"A few months ago, I put in an offer on a house and it was the first one I'd done and I just thought it wouldn't matter if I didn't get it, it was just good experience.

"But I ended up getting it and then I rang up my best friend and my mortgage broker and just said: 'Oh, I've stuffed up. I don't think this is a good idea, it's a lot of money'.

"If I make a decision that is a bit risky, I genuinely panic.

"With cricket, I know what I've done in the nets and where my game is and I know that once I walk out there I've got the capacity to transfer into a game."

 

 

As one half of the Australian Women's Cricket team's opening partnership, alongside Alyssa Healy, Mooney thrives on the challenge of batting at the top of the order.

"You live and die by the sword up there," she says.

"So you have to take the game on and take some risks. I'm pretty risk-averse off the field, so it's probably a bit funny that I look forward to that challenge when I walk onto the field, but I think it's the best place to bat.

"You get to face the most amount of balls, you've only got two fielders out and the best bowlers are bowling and you want to take it to them."

The 26-year-old Queenslander has been remarkably consistent in the T20 format so far this year, scoring 208 runs from the five matches the Aussies played in the recent Tri-Series against England and India. She scored a vital unbeaten 71 in Australia's series final win.

 

That consistency will be vital if Australia is to win back-to-back ICC Women's T20 World Cup trophies.

Mooney enjoys the Twenty20 format - she flourished in the last year's WBBL and was Player of the Match in the Brisbane Heat's six-wicket defeat of the Adelaide Strikers in the final after knocking an unbeaten 56 from 45 balls - and she's determined to show that traditional cricket shots still have their place in the quick-paced format.

"I do love a good cover drive, a proper cricket shot," she says.

"With the way T20's going, especially with the men, it's all about who can hit it the furthest and the hardest, whereas I find I still want to be the kind of person that makes others believe there is still a place for traditional batters in a T20 line-up.

"Hopefully I can continue to create room for those players."

And just like many of the best batters in the Australian men's team, she's been known to shadow bat in public.

"I certainly don't bat tap in my bathroom at 5am like Steve Smith does, but I have been caught playing a particular shot walking through a shopping centre thinking about a net session I had earlier in the day," she says with a laugh.

"I think for me, it's about making sure I'm better than I was the day before and constantly finding ways to improve.

"I love hitting cricket balls. It's a nice escape for my brain.

 

Mooney’s consistent run scoring will be vital in Australia’s T20 World Cup defence.
Mooney’s consistent run scoring will be vital in Australia’s T20 World Cup defence.

"My mind is always wandering (at the crease), but you talk to any of the best batters in the world and ask them what they think about, and most of them will say nothing; their mind is sort of blank and they're just thinking about the next ball that's coming down, or how many runs they need, they're not particularly focused on anything about their own technique or what the bowler's trying to do.

"It's just a bit of blank and enjoying the moment and staying present and being out there in the middle helps me do that. But up until I retire I'll probably still be working on it."



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