Aussie stars want Ricky Ponting’s world record

All the nerves and nail-biting stresses of Australia’s wobbly start at the T20 World Cup last year returned as Meg Lanning watched the documentary that delivered every detail of her team’s ultimate triumph at the MCG.

Even though the Aussie skipper knew it all turned out well, Lanning willingly rode the rollercoaster again.

But the value of going through that tournament, at home, as favourites, carrying hopes for a world record crowd at the MCG in the final, can’t be understated.

It hadn’t been that hard before for an outfit always at the top, so used to winning.

It was a learning experience Lanning said would have a significant impact when the Aussies try to do what they have never done and win the one-day World Cup in New Zealand next year.

“Absolutely. Just in terms of dealing with things when they don’t quite go your way,” Lanning told the NCA NewsWire.

“It was just learning how to deal with that, not getting too stressed about it is the important thing and making sure the team feeds off that as well.

“If you get a bit flustered as a leader, everyone can see that. Making sure we are not relying on one or two people, that was important as well.”

The challenges Australia faced at the T20 World Cup included a tournament-ending hamstring injury to star all-rounder Ellyse Perry. Picture: AAP Image/Scott BarbourSource:AAP

The documentary reveals a rare meeting of the batters, called by eventual player of the tournamentBeth Mooney after a first-up loss to India and a close call against Sri Lanka, turned the tide.

Lanning said the players opened up in that meeting, conceded they were feeling the pressure despite public statements otherwise, setting a standard they would now carry forward.

“The other key out of that meeting was it reinforced that everyone was feeling the same, but we hadn’t really expressed that before it,” she said.

“Everyone was a touch apprehensive and really wanted to do well, so perhaps we were being a bit timid.

“When you hear other people talk about it, it becomes a little more clear what you need to do.

“We talked a little bit as a group, that was more around trying to embrace what was coming. The difficulty for us was we didn’t really know what it was going to be like until we were in the thick of it.

“We had never experienced a lead-in to a home World Cup, with so much talk about it, especially about the final.

“We did leave it down to the individuals with how they wanted to speak about that, but as a group, the messaging was about trying to embrace it. But that had an impact and we had to adjust as we went.”

Success brings its own pressures too, and in April, Lanning and her team will line up against New Zealand with a world record up for grabs.

A victory would give the Aussies 22 ODI wins in a row, breaking the 21-game winning-streak set by the men’s team led by Ricky Ponting.

“That world record has been spoken about a lot more by the media than us as a squad,” she said.

“But when we do hear about the team that holds the record currently and the greats that are in that. It is a great opportunity for us to keep going.

“The best thing about that is it has been over a long period of time, it’s benne two or three years, it hasn’t just been a couple of good series. That shows we have been able to maintain really high standards and improve as well. We need to keep doing that.”

Meg Lanning and the Aussies stormed to home World Cup success in 2020. Picture: AAP Image/Scott BarbourSource:AAP

Achieving the world record would mean Lanning’s team arrives at next year’s ODI World Cup with even more expectation. They would be the best team, expected to be the best team, and win a title that has eluded them.

Lanning now knows that pressure, intimately, and how they handled it is on “The Record” for everyone to see.

So she’s confident that riding the rollercoaster could be a little bit easier next time.

“The perception from the outside can be that everything is well and under control, and that’s the impression we try to give off,” she said.

“But leading into the previous World Cup in 2017 we didn’t get put under pressure a lot, and we probably got exposed when we were under the pump.

“This time around I feel like we have had to deal with certain things. That prepares us really well. We have evolved as a team.

“We want to keep getting better and the fact we don’t hold the 50-over World Cup, that’s a massive carrot for us, and there is a lot of determination within the group to win that tournament.

“You need a lot of things to go your way to get it right, we know that, we’ve experienced that, and we’re all better for it.”

The documentary The Record will air exclusively on Amazon Prime Video from Friday, February 12

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