Alyssa Healy responds after teammate left 'gutted' over 'brutal' axing from Test side

Jess Jonassen hadn't missed a Test match due to selection since making her debut in 2015.

Alyssa Healy and Sophie Molineux.

Alyssa Healy has moved to ensure Jess Jonassen that she's still very much in calculations for the Australian cricket team despite being axed for the Test match against South Africa. Jonassen was left out of the Aussie XI for the match at the WACA, with Sophie Molineux taking her place.

Molineux returned to the national team for the first time since 2021, with several injuries keeping her on the sidelines. Unfortunately for Jonassen, she was the one to make way and was forced out of the side for selection reasons for the first time since making her debut back in 2015.

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"I was and I still am pretty gutted," Jonassen said in an interview with "Any opportunity when you're in the squad, and having played the most recent Tests as well, I felt like I was ready to go. It's one of those things that it can be quite brutal at the moment."

Jonassen turned out for Queensland on Saturday in the Women's National Cricket League, taking 4-6 with the ball before guiding her side to victory with 29 not out off 23. The 31-year-old will be hoping to win back her place for Australia’s tour of Bangladesh in March, and the T20 World Cup in September.

She was also dropped from the Australian T20 side in October, and hasn't played on ODI since last July. But Healy insists Jonassen still has plenty to offer the national team.

"I don't think it's anywhere near the end for JJ, I think she's still got an opportunity to play cricket for Australia," Healy told reports after Australia recorded a thumping win over South Africa by an innings and 284 runs. "There's a lot of subcontinental cricket in the next 12 months with two World Cups in Bangladesh and India.

"I've played a lot of cricket with JJ and seen the way that she competes for Australia. Every time you throw her the ball, you know she's going to get the job done. It's probably just a really interesting period for her to go through, to go back and continue to prove herself and almost force her way back into the side, which I think she's going to absolutely love."

Jess Jonassen.
Jess Jonassen in action for Australia against India in December.

Alyssa Healy explains decision to drop Jess Jonassen

Healy said the decision to go with Molineux over fellow left-armer Jonessen was down to the fact she can spin the ball a bit more. "Adding Soph to the squad was probably from the outside looked an interesting decision knowing we've already got a left-arm spinner in the mix," she said. "Just the way that Soph has been playing and her all-around ability, they're both really similar, don't get me wrong, but I think Soph offers something really unique with her left-arm spin and the way that she can really turn the ball and get something out of the wicket."

Healy said she was proud of her team's efforts against South Africa, after they also won the T20 and ODI series 2-1 in the multi-format tournament. Australia's best players will now head to India for the Women's Premier League, before a T20 and ODI tour of Bangladesh and the T20 World Cup in the same country starting.

A home Ashes series against England will then follow, including one Test match. The ODI World Cup in India is also not too far down the track in the middle of 2025.

"We've got a cheeky little trip to Bangladesh after WPL, and that's huge leading into a T20 World Cup over there at the back-end of this year," Healy said. "Two World Cups in the space of 18 months is huge for our squad. And then you throw in an Ashes series in between - it's a busy time for our group, but I've never seen this group more hungry to play cricket, and more excited to challenge themselves, which is huge."

with AAP

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