The Cricket Australia National Selection Panel (NSP) has named a 14-player One-Day International and 14-player T20 INTL squad ahead of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team’s tour to India in March.
Australia will contest three ODI’s against World Cup finalists India as part of the ICC Women’s Championship which leads toward automatic qualification to the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand for the top four placed teams. Following the ODIs, England will join the two sides for a T20 Tri-Series which culminates in a final on 31 March.
Australian One-Day International squad for Tour of India
Meg Lanning, VIC (c)
Rachael Haynes, NSW (vc)
Nicole Bolton, WA
Nicola Carey, NSW
Ashleigh Gardner, SA
Alyssa Healy, NSW
Jess Jonassen, QLD
Sophie Molineux, VIC
Beth Mooney, QLD
Ellyse Perry, NSW
Megan Schutt, SA
Belinda Vakarewa, NSW
Elyse Villani, WA
Amanda-Jade Wellington, SA
Australian T20 INTL Tri-Series squad
Meg Lanning, Perth Scorchers (c)
Rachael Haynes, Sydney Thunder (vc)
Nicola Carey, Sydney Thunder
Ashleigh Gardner, Sydney Sixers
Alyssa Healy, Sydney Sixers
Jess Jonassen, Brisbane Heat
Delissa Kimmince, Brisbane Heat
Sophie Molineux, Melbourne Renegades
Beth Mooney, Brisbane Heat
Ellyse Perry, Sydney Sixers
Megan Schutt, Adelaide Strikers
Naomi Stalenberg, Sydney Thunder
Elyse Villani, Perth Scorchers
Amanda-Jade Wellington, Adelaide Strikers
Captain Meg Lanning returns to the side having recovered from a should injury, with Ashes captain Rachael Haynes named vice-captain following the retirement of Alex Blackwell this week.
Young Victorian all-rounder Sophie Molineux is a chance to make her Australian debut in both formats after being named in an Australian squad for the first time, whist New South Wales duo Nicola Carey and Naomi Stalenberg have been recalled after impressive domestic seasons.
After playing an important role in Australia's Ashes success, South Australian all-rounder Tahlia McGrath was unavailable for selection after experiencing back pain during the final round of WNCL, with scans showing a recurrence of bone oedema in her lumbar spine.
Spinners Molly Strano and Kristen Beams have also missed selection along with pace bowler Sarah Aley.
Speaking on the return of Lanning and appointment of Haynes as vice-captain, National Selector Shawn Flegler said:
“Meg’s rehab has been progressing well, she’s back to her old self with the bat and with a few weeks until the first match, we’re confident she’ll be right to play when the times comes.
“Meg will resume the captaincy and we’re extremely fortunate to have Rach as her deputy after doing a fantastic job as stand-in skipper during the Women’s Ashes. She’ll be a great sounding board for Meg and will continue to drive the standards of the team.
Speaking on the selection of the ODI and T20 INTL squads, Flegler said:
“Sophie is a really exciting youngster that has shown immense talent as a batter and spin bowler and someone who the selectors have had their eyes on for a while. She’s been a standout especially in the Women’s Big Bash and this tour will give her the opportunity to get a taste of the Australian setup in what will be some challenging Indian conditions.
“We’ve been pleased with the progress of Naomi and Belinda this season, they’ve both had a taste of playing at an international level and this tour will give them the chance to impress and benefit from an overseas tour.
“Nicola has already been to two World Cups with Australia so she’s no stranger to this level. She’s showed strong domestic form and has earned her spot in both sides.
“It’s unfortunate for Tahlia that she was unavailable for selection, she showed great skills and character during the Ashes and in domestic cricket so the focus for her now will be to get her body right with a view to the World T20.
“There’s no doubt this is going to be a really tough tour against an India side who is playing some great cricket and of course the World Champions England. The ODIs are crucial in terms of World Cup qualification and the tri-series will give us a good indication of where the team is at with the T20 game.
“It’ll be a changing of the guard as such with the retirement of Alex not only in terms of skill, but as a leader and a wonderful team person. She’s been outstanding for a long period of time but there’s now the chance for others to step up and fill that void."
Former Australian cricketers Shelley Nitschke and Ashley Noffke will also travel to India as assistant coaches in lieu of outgoing coaches Tim Coyle and Joe Dawes; the duo bringing significant playing and coaching experience to the group.
Australia Women’s Team Tour of India schedule
6 March: Warm-up match v India A, BKC Ground, Mumbai
8 March: Warm-up match v India A, BKC Ground, Mumbai
12 March: First ODI, Vadodara International Cricket Stadium*
15 March: Second ODI, Vadodara International Cricket Stadium*
18 March: Third ODI, Vadodara International Cricket Stadium*
T20I Tri-Series (Australian fixtures only)
22 March: Australia v India, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
23 March: Australia v England, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
26 March: Australia v India, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
28 March: Australia v England, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
31 March: Final, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, Mumbai
*ICC Women’s Championship matches