Australia’s Alex Blackwell takes inspiration from Dhoni and Kohli in the World T20

Australia’s Alex Blackwell takes inspiration from Dhoni and Kohli in the World T20

Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni against Pakistan in the World T20. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Australian women’s team all-rounder Alex Blackwell has praised the running between the wickets and the understanding shown by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli in the World T20. The Southern Stars will face the West Indies in the Women’s World T20 final on Sunday and Blackwell feels she can take inspiration from the Indian duo.

“I will be looking to practice good cricket shots in front of the wicket, looking to turn ones into twos. Perhaps I gain some inspiration from Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni and the way they have approached the middle overs, that’s my job to make sure to turn ones into twos and put pressure on the outfielders,” the 32-year-old said on the sidelines of their practice session at Eden Gardens today as reported by dnaindia.

“It’s not always about clearing the ropes, that’s not really my game. Yes, I’m a boundary hitter but it’s about running hard. My job is really to have an impact in the middle-order to upset the opposition bowlers,” she added. Alex was seen with an unusual stance way outside off-stump during their semifinal victory over England, similar to Aussie captain Steve Smith’s style.

But Blackwell in a lighter vein claimed that she was practising that unusual stroke much before Smith. “I will try to show some interesting shots, maybe you have seen a few of those. One was described as a ‘Steve Smith shot’ but I’m pretty sure I’m doing that a little longer than he has, got a few years on him,” she smiled.

“I will bat a little differently than rest of our team. I would like to be a 360-player. Sometimes in these conditions you don’t get to play behind square shots,” she said. Echoing sentiments of India captain Mithali Raj and West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor, Alex too called for equal pay and said in five years’ time they would be a standalone product. “Gender should not determine your pay. I do agree with equal pay. In the business of sport, it’s to do with how the money comes in and media write and things like that. We can’t expect same sort of split currently. But our conditions should be equal. With time the pay difference will be reduced.”

She further heaped praise on Cricket Australia for inculcating professionalism in the Southern Stars. “I’m really proud to say that as an Australian team, we travel the same way like the men’s do, we stay in the same accommodation. As Australian players, the best thing we can do is to maximise the opportunities that are given. We’re moving towards full professionalism in our squad and that allows us to play better cricket long term. You don’t become a better cricketer overnight just because you’re getting paid a little bit more. I think it’s going to help us, let’s say in five years’ time, we will be a standalone product and there will be media interest and the TV rights going along with our matches,” she opined.

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