Cricket Australia has named an 18-player squad to take on India for the first time since the historic T20I World Cup final and there are a couple of surprises.
- Experienced bowlers Jess Jonassen and Megan Schutt will miss the series against India
- Meg Lanning will captain the Australian side, which features new faces Georgia Redmayne and Stella Campbell
- The WACA will host the first day-night women’s Test between the two sides
Wicket-keeper and left-handed opening batter Georgia Redmayne has received her first call-up to the national squad, as has 19-year-old fast bowler Stella Campbell.
The multi-format tour is due to begin September 19, and includes a three-match ODI series at North Sydney and Junction Oval, followed by the second-ever women’s day-night Test at the WACA.
The series will conclude with a three-match T20I series at North Sydney Oval.
The matches scheduled for Sydney and Melbourne may yet be moved. Cricket Australia said it was monitoring the COVID-19 situation and would make an announcement about a potential change in venue closer to the match date.
Australia’s bowling stocks will be impacted by the absence of women’s world number one ranked ODI bowler Jess Jonassen, who is nursing a stress injury in her tibia.
Australia will also have to make do without key strike bowler Megan Schutt who, along with Belinda Vakarewa, requested not to be considered for selection for personal reasons.
Schutt’s wife Jess is expecting the couple’s first child in early November.
Both Jonassen and Schutt have been instrumental in Australia’s attack for a number of years and were the two most influential bowlers in the team’s fifth T20 World Cup win at the MCG last March.
Australia will miss the two’s experience and creativity in crucial moments, but their omissions have allowed for newer players to break into the side.
Redmayne has been on the cusp of an international call-up for quite some time, building form slowly over her career and travelling across the country to find opportunity, having played for three different Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) and Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) teams.
The 27-year-old is also a doctor at Tweed Hospital and has been working throughout the pandemic between her cricket commitments.
Redmayne has previously played for the Australia A women’s team and has already racked up individual awards, being named the Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year in 2017-18 and best 50-over one-day player in 2018-19.
But the performance that led to her finally getting the call-up for the senior national squad came in March, when she led the Queensland Fire to their maiden WNCL title against Victoria, finishing not out on 134.
She is currently playing in the Hundred tournament for the Welsh Fire, where she has been able to purely focus on her batting with English legend Sarah Taylor signed as the team’s main wicketkeeper.
It is likely she will have learned a lot from Taylor during their time training together, although she is highly unlikely to take the responsibility with the gloves for Australia, with long-standing players Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney in the squad.
Meanwhile, Campbell is a young quick who has worked her way through the NSW representative pathway, impressing in her second season for the Breakers last summer as well as the Sydney Sixers in the WBBL.
Campbell has also played for Australia A and in the Governor-General’s XI exhibition match in the past, and given the growing desire for women to bowl quicker, will be a huge asset to the Australian team alongside the likes of Tayla Vlaeminck and Darcie Brown.
Campbell has sometimes struggled with inconsistency, still trying to find the balance between bowling as fast as she can and finding accuracy in her line and length.
But with bes -figures of 3/32 in last summer’s WBBL she has shown what she is capable of when she gets that right.
The return of Melbourne Renegades’ Maitlan Brown is also key.
Brown suffered a devastating hamstring injury early last summer, ripping it off the bone and ruling her out for the remainder of the season.
Brown had regularly been hitting the 120 kilometres per hour mark before her surgery setback.
However the 24-year-old has reportedly been tracking nicely for the upcoming domestic season after a switch from the ACT to the NSW Breakers.
Brown was last named in the Australian squad in October 2020 for the team’s limited-overs series against New Zealand, but is yet to make her debut.
Australia’s 18-player women’s squad to take on India:
- Meg Lanning (captain)
- Rachael Haynes (vice-captain)
- Darcie Brown
- Maitlan Brown
- Stella Campbell
- Nicola Carey
- Hannah Darlington
- Ashleigh Gardner
- Alyssa Healy
- Tahlia McGrath
- Sophie Molineux
- Beth Mooney
- Ellyse Perry
- Georgia Redmayne
- Molly Strano
- Annabel Sutherland
- Tayla Vlaeminck
- Georgia Wareham