Meg Lanning of Australia plays a shot during the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 match against Sri Lanka.
Meg Lanning of Australia plays a shot during the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 match against Sri Lanka. SUPPLIED

Injury cloud hangs over Australian captain at World Cup

A HUGE cloud of doubt hangs over Australia captain Meg Lanning's future participation in the World Cup after a chronic shoulder injury ruled her out of this week's win over Pakistan.

Coach Matthew Mott said Lanning would likely take her place in the side for this weekend's crunch match against in-form England but they will have to assess her before each match for the remainder of the tournament.

"We're taking it game by game in terms of management," Mott said after Australia maintained their unbeaten start by demolishing Pakistan.

"Kate (Mahony, physio) will assess her Thursday, we'll give her a couple of days off training still, and then as we lead into England she'll get back into training and we'll see how she pulls up.

"We'll try and get her up for England and then if things go our way there might be an opportunity to give her another rest. It's all on her and how she's feeling at the time.

"It is quite painful, so the less we can aggravate that the better."

Lanning tore cartilage in her right shoulder about 12 months ago and missed the Kia Super League in the UK before she returned for Australia's tour of Sri Lanka in September.

She played for Melbourne Stars in WBBL02, but has noticeably had trouble with throwing and discomfort from the injury.

Lanning is widely regarded as the best player in the world and made an unbeaten 152 against Sri Lanka just over a week ago.

"It's just a chronic shoulder injury," Mott said.

"In terms of management, it's got a certain amount of pain in it and she hasn't been able to throw, most people have noticed, for the last eight or nine months.

"That's been hard for her but she's a very tough character and we've been able to manage her through the best we can."

Rachael Haynes was called in to the side for Wednesday's win over Pakistan and took over the captaincy from Lanning.

The decision had some questioning why vice-captain Alex Blackwell wasn't given control of the team but Mott said it had been decided Haynes would captain in Lanning's absence before the team arrived in the UK.

"That's something we've spoken about as a group," Mott said.

"Back when we were in Australia we assessed all of our options, we had some really good candidates.

"We feel that Alex Blackwell in particular is an outstanding vice-captain who has done a great job over a long period of time. We felt that Rachael was very similar in her style to Meg, and that leadership model was something that we wanted to keep together.

"She's obviously had success for Victoria back in the day. One of the reasons we got her back into the squad was her leadership and what she brings to the team.

"Even (against Pakistan) we were under the pump a little bit early, she showed a nice, cool head and batted really well.

"I think she's going to be a captain of the future, we have to play things by ear with Meg and how long she can keep persisting with this shoulder injury."

Mott said Blackwell was aware she would remain vice-captain should Lanning be rested.

"We spoke to Alex six weeks ago and of course she wanted to be captain but the way she's handled the situation's been exceptional; she's an ultimate team player and she understands the reasons why we've gone with that model," he said.

"She's just trying to bring everything she can to the vice captaincy and she continues to do that. She led the way in the field again (against Pakistan)."

News Corp Australia

FORECAST: Will CQ experience another day of wild weather?

Premium Content FORECAST: Will CQ experience another day of wild weather?

The forecast comes amid recent days of heavy rainfall and severe thunderstorms.

Millions owed: Qld’s biggest construction company collapses

Premium Content Millions owed: Qld’s biggest construction company collapses

State’s construction company collapses revealed