Phoebe Litchfield and Kim Garth have earned their maiden Australia call-ups for the upcoming tour of India. As Meg Lanning continues to be unavailable since taking an indefinite break from cricket in August, recently appointed vice-captain Alyssa Healy will lead the 15-player squad. Tahlia McGrath will step in as her deputy.
Squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland
Australia will leave for India on December 4. The first of the five T20Is is on December 9.
“These five matches form an important part of the team’s preparations for the upcoming T20 World Cup in South Africa as well as providing an opportunity for some players to gain some experience in Indian conditions,” said Shawn Flegler, Australia’s Head of Performance (Women’s Cricket) and National Selector.
“India will be a good test; they’re a strong side and the two teams have had some good battles in recent times. Without Meg and Rachael, this series will provide opportunities for players particularly in the top order, so we’re looking forward to seeing who puts their hand up,” Flegler added.
Garth, who previously played for Ireland, has been rewarded for her strong performances for Melbourne Stars in the WBBL. “It’s pleasing to have been able to reward Phoebe, Kim and Heather for strong form throughout the WBBL and hopefully they get the chance to show what they can do at some stage during the series, “Flegler said.
“We’ve had an eye on Phoebe for a while and she’s really taken her game to the next level this summer. She’s made her mark at the top of the order for the Sydney Thunder and we’re looking forward to seeing what she can do in Australian colours. Kim’s another who’s been in our thinking, she’s had a couple of strong seasons with the ball and adds extra depth to our pace bowling stocks,” Flegler added.
“Heather hasn’t had many opportunities to break into the side, but she’s toiled away with both bat and ball in domestic cricket. She adds depth to the middle order and provides Shelley and Alyssa with another pace bowling option.
“Alyssa will get the chance to lead the side in Meg’s absence which is exciting, and Tahlia will no doubt take plenty from being her deputy. She’s worked hard on developing that side of her game and thoroughly deserves the opportunity.”
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