Amanda-Jade Wellington is setting aside her disappointment at missing out on a spot in Australia’s T20I squad to tour India as she focuses her attention on helping Adelaide Strikers win their first Weber WBBL title.
Wellington has enjoyed another standout season in blue, taking 21 wickets at 15 and was earlier this week named in the official WBBL|08 Team of the Tournament.
On Thursday night, the Strikers will look to make the WBBL final for a second consecutive year when they meet the winner of Wednesday’s Eliminator showdown between Hobart Hurricanes and Brisbane Heat.
“I think the really good thing is that we’ve got really good momentum coming into the semis,” Wellington told reporters in Adelaide on Wednesday.
“It’s awesome to see so many people putting their hands up and performing at different times.
“Laura Wolvaardt was exceptional in the last game and we had Tahlia McGrath with that amazing knock at North Sydney Oval, so it’s not one person sticking their hand up for us.”
Wellington memorably took 5-8 in last season’s Eliminator against the Heat at Adelaide Oval, figures she replicated at Karen Rolton Oval – the venue for Thursday’s game – earlier this season against the Renegades.
“A lot of people give me stick about it because it’s TV games, apparently I want to perform for TV,” Wellington laughed when asked about her propensity for producing on the biggest stage.
“But I think momentum and pressure is key for me … the higher the pressure, the more that’s at stake. I always want the ball.
“I think with T20 Cricket it’s really hit or miss … I know some games I’m going to get hit for a lot of runs, and there’s a lot of games I’m going to get wickets.
“But I think I’m more at peace with my game, knowing that’s my role, I’m here to take wickets and if I go for runs, that’s okay.”
Wellington was not part of the 15-player T20I squad named on Tuesday for next month’s five-game tour of India, with Australia opting to take just three frontline spinners on the trip in Jess Jonassen, Alana King and Ashleigh Gardner.
The leg-spinner was recalled to the Aussie squad at the start of this year for the 50-over World Cup squad in New Zealand, where she played two games.
She was also part of the Commonwealth Games in August, where she was one of four players who carried drinks throughout as the eventual Gold Medalists stuck with an unchanged line-up.
“I would love to go to India, but I’m looking forward to WNCL and an opportunity to play 50-over cricket and represent South Australia as well,” Wellington said.
“So I think for me, it’s more so putting that (disappointment) behind me now and making sure I perform in the WBBL finals.”
National selector Shawn Flegler told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday the decision had been made to take additional fast bowlers to India rather than an extra spinner as Australia mull pace options for the upcoming T20 World Cup in South Africa, indicating the squad for that tournament next February would strike a different balance.
Wellington said she and Strikers coach Luke Williams had had similar conversations with selection committee members Flegler and national coach Shelley Nitschke, and she remained hopeful of putting her hand up for a World Cup spot.
“I think I’ve personally gotten better at (talking to selectors),” she said.
“I think in the past, I would probably push it aside … the last few years I’ve questioned it a little bit, I’ve got a little bit of clarity around it and that makes me feel more at peace with it (and ) I get clarity of what I need to do.
“I’m hopeful. I know you’ve got people like Alana King who is a really good leggie at the moment and you’ve got someone like Georgia Wareham coming back into the mix, so I know there’s going to be a lot of competition but hopefully I can put my hand up.”
The Eliminator: Brisbane Heat v Hobart Hurricanes | Karen Rolton Oval | November 23, 7.10pm AEDT (6.40pm local)
The Challengers: Adelaide Strikers v TBC | Karen Rolton Oval | November 24, 7.10pm AEDT (6.40pm local)
The Final: Sydney Sixers v TBC | North Sydney Oval | November 26 at 5.20pm AEDT
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