Despite injury concerns, Australia’s roster for the upcoming multi-format trip of India includes Alyssa Healy and Darcie Brown. Left-arm seamer Lauren Cheatle has been recalled for the Test match, however the captaincy of Meg Lanning has not yet been decided.
Just five days after Lanning’s unexpected retirement from international cricket, the 16-player team was unveiled, capping nearly ten years of her leadership during a golden age of Australian women’s cricket.
Vice captain Healy, who stood in for Lanning during his absences last year, is the clear favorite and has put herself forward for the vacant position. A change in leadership is imminent.
The Australian management has started the process of finding a full-time successor for Lanning; further details will be released closer to the trip. Australia’s first Test match in India since 1984 will begin on December 21 in Mumbai, ahead of a three-match ODI and Twenty20 International series.
Healy only participated in one WBBL game this season before having surgery on her finger following an unintentional dog bite.
National selector Shawn Flegler stated, “Alyssa Healy’s finger is healing but remains in a splint and our medical team are continuing to monitor her recovery closely.” “We’re obviously very hopeful she will be available for the Test, but those decisions are still a while away.”
After getting hurt in the first ODI in Brisbane on October 8 against the West Indies, Brown has been sidelined. The Adelaide Strikers, the reigning WBBL champions, have been without her, but she has resumed bowling and is expected to be healthy for the opening Test.
Returned left-arm quick Cheatle, who hasn’t played for Australia since March 2019, may share new-ball responsibilities with Brown. Cheatle, who debuted internationally in 2016 at the age of seventeen, has a terrible history of injuries, requiring four shoulder reconstructions in a span of five years.
However, she earned a position in the team thanks to a spectacular WBBL season in which she led Sydney Sixers with 19 wickets from 10 games.
A few days prior to the team’s announcement, Cheatle remarked, “I just feel in a bit more of a rhythm, not just stopping and starting every three or four games.” “It seems like I’m performing with a little bit more rhythm and am not making the same careless mistakes that I have in the past.
“Remember that experience also comes with it. I hope to have a successful job for many more years after I reach ten. I can’t wait to play my part as best I can at the park.”
Cheatle, who was only included in the Test team, had an impressive showing in June when Australia A toured England, taking 11 wickets in five matches.
“Lauren has playing experience in India and provides another fast bowling option, particularly in regard to the Test match which is the format she has been selected for,” Flegler stated. “At this stage, we’re planning for Lauren to return to Australia ahead of the white ball formats to play WNCL.”
The Australian team nearly matches the lineup that was used to draw the Ashes series in July. The 20-year-old Phoebe Litchfield, a top-order batsman, is probably going to replace Lanning, and Australia’s array of elite spinners was a given; they will be crucial on anticipated turning wickets.
There are two Mumbai venues where the matches will be played.
“A multi-format series against India in India is exciting and presents a huge challenge for our group,” Flegler stated. “Most of our players have played cricket in Mumbai over the previous 12 months and are familiar with the conditions, having experienced it through the WPL or the bilateral series in December.
“We’ll have an opportunity to acclimatise to the conditions and our preparation in Mumbai will include a warm-up match against a local opposition.”
The Australian team consists of the following players: Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, and Grace Harris (T20).