Jonassen ‘deflates’ but is determined after Australia’s exclusion

 – Gudstory

Jonassen ‘deflates’ but is determined after Australia’s exclusion – Gudstory

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Jess Jonassen admits she was left “pretty deflated” after being dropped during the recent T20I series against the West Indies and revealed she will return to basics ahead of the WBBL with an eye on playing a senior role in India’s upcoming tour.

Jonassen was left out of Australia’s squad for the third T20I in Sydney and the subsequent ODI series after overcoming the brunt of Hayley Matthews’ attack in the first two matches at North Sydney Oval. She bowled just two overs in each match and conceded 54 runs in total, including eight boundaries and two sixes, all of which were hit by Matthews.

In the second game, bowling the 19th over with West Indies needing 25 runs from 12 balls, they gave up four successive boundaries before Matthews was finally dismissed. But the damage was done and Jonassen knew her fate.

“I was so exhausted,” Jonassen told ESPNcricinfo. “Obviously it’s never a good thing to be on the receiving end of great hits like that. Obviously finding myself outside the team has been difficult as well.

“It’s really hurtful at the moment. If your execution was a bit off, where the women’s game is at the moment, you would get caught. And with where Hayley was, you didn’t have to miss much and you were sailing over the rope.”

“The fact that we couldn’t get it out as a bowling unit, something had to change.”

This thing meant that Jonassen was left to carry the drinks for the rest of the series. It’s a rare position for Jonassen to find herself in as she has been the fulcrum of the Australian attack for nearly a decade. She is undoubtedly Australia’s greatest ever T20 spinner, having been a key bowler in four T20 World Cup victories as well as the Commonwealth Games gold-medal-winning side and last year’s ODI World Cup triumph.

The only title she missed in Australia’s golden generation was the 2018 T20 World Cup, as an ill-timed knee injury kept her out of the team in the lead-up to the match, and the form of her young replacements, Sophie Molyneux and Georgia Wareham, meant she could. It does not regain its place.

Apart from the 2022 ODI World Cup, where she was ruled out of one match for match reasons, she was an automatic player in Australia’s squad. But her form forced coach Shelley Nitschke and national team president Sean Flegler to have some difficult conversations.

“Through the conversations I’ve been able to have with both Shell and Flags, I’ve been able to be very honest and upfront with them, and the same has been done with me,” Jonassen said. “It’s never good to be on the receiving end of it as a player, but equally it still makes you hungry, and you still have to keep trying to find ways to improve.

“One of our mottos as an Australian team is to keep improving. Even though I am one of the top players, there are still ways in which I can improve whether it is tactically, physically or mentally.”

“Conversations with [the selectors were] I’m a really important member of the team and there’s an opportunity to play a really big role [in India] … It gives me confidence knowing that just because I lost a few games in this series doesn’t mean it’s over or I’m out.”

Jess Jonassen talks about her elimination and the upcoming tour of India

At the age of 30, and after more than a decade in international cricket, Jonassen finds herself going back to basics to improve the execution of her skills under pressure.

“A lot of times, you can get caught up, especially as a bowler, in just becoming a bowling machine in the nets and focusing too much on what the batsman is doing rather than focusing on what you need to do or what you need to execute.” Jonassen said.

“For me, even in the last series, I did some simple bowling. I put a box of cones down there and I just had to try to hit it and then I put in four or five separate little cones to replicate some of the deliveries I made. He wanted to execute and he was taking the technical side of it and it was He says, ‘Okay, just find a way to get to the point.’ Basically, keep it that simple.

“Ultimately, if you go on the ride after executing the ball you want to hit, you can live with that more than just really big poor execution. It’s the balance between that as well as the real competitive bat versus the ball in the net. .

“I think for me stripping things back is really vital, making sure I really balance that and incorporate it into my preparation. So when I come to games, I know I’m 100% confident that I can get there.”

Jonassen is confident she can reach WBBL status again as she leads a quality Brisbane Heat side looking to secure their second title after being a real threat the past three seasons without reaching the final.

Although she has a wealth of experience in her squad, including internationals Sarah Glynn (first five matches) and Amelia Kerr (last nine matches plus finals), Jonassen knows she has a vital role to play with the ball and the opportunity to prepare herself for the competition. Next tour in India.

“Conversations with [the selectors were] “I’m a really important member of the team and there’s an opportunity to play a really big role there,” Jonassen said. “There have also been talks about what kind of role I will play within the WBBL so that I think that helps ease things there in terms of whether it’s Powerplay bowling, what types of deliveries I need to continue to work on at different stages of the game.

“It gives me confidence knowing that just because I missed a few games in this series doesn’t mean it’s over or I’m out.

“It comes down to execution and it’s something I can control. Like I said, I’d be more than happy to go for a run if it wasn’t my best all the time. There are quality players all over the world. They allow us to play good shots as well.”

“My aim is always to get back to what I’ve built my whole career on, which is building pressure and bowling into partnerships. I’m not the kind of glory-seeker who becomes a real wicket-taker. I do get wickets but I get them by building pressure and bowling in Partnerships.

“It’s just getting back into it and knowing my way around what I need to do before I get on the field to be able to make it happen.”

Alex Malcolm is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo


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