Molineux adds to Australia's T20 Cup hopes

Young allrounder Sophie Molineux will play a big role in Australia's Twenty20 World Cup defence, only a month after returning from a mental health break.

SOPHIE MOLINEUX.
SOPHIE MOLINEUX. Picture: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

Sophie Molineux was no certainty to be part of Australia's Twenty20 World Cup campaign after stepping away from cricket in November, but the talented allrounder is back.

Despite missing Wednesday's tri-series final win against India with a corked thigh, the 22-year-old's return to the national set-up has delighted captain Meg Lanning.

Molineux took a mental health break during the WBBL, but immediately starred in a comeback for Victoria in the WNCL last month.

Lanning expects Molineux to play in a key role when Australia kickstart their World Cup defence on February 21.

"She's been in great spirits. She really adds to our group," Lanning said.

"She's very level-headed and very talented as well so it's nice to see her back around the group smiling and enjoying herself."

Molineux spoke after a dominant performance in Sunday's vital win against England at the Junction Oval.

Australia were staring down the barrel of missing the tri-series final, but Molineux's spell of 3-19 allowed the hosts to avoid significant embarrassment.

"I'm just really enjoying being back and I've had a lot of support from everyone," Molineux said.

"We're at a really exciting point at the moment, so it's really easy to be able to slide back in.

"It was a special weekend to be able to look up and see my family and friends in the crowd, to be able to run out in the green and gold and be with these girls has been pretty cool."

There's always pressure on Australia to deliver at big tournaments, but even more so when it's at home and there are hopes for a crowd of more than 90,000 for the final on March 8.

But Molineux says the extra spotlight on the first women's ICC event in Australia since 2009 is something that doesn't faze her.

"Everyone has got their own way of dealing with that sort of thing," Molineux said.

"I don't use my phone much, I'm from the country and we didn't have too much reception growing up ... so I'm not too used to the old 'Gram (Instagram) or anything like that."