“Annabel presented with some vague posterior thigh pain following the last round of WNCL matches, with further imaging confirming a stress reaction in her femur,” said Phillipa Inge, Australian team doctor.
The 19-year-old allrounder picked four wickets in the ongoing WNCL, including a three-wicket haul against New South Wales, playing for Victoria. Sutherland had a strike rate of 113.77 with the bat in the Women’s Big Bash League, playing for the runners-up, Melbourne Stars.
Strano, on the other hand, had a middling WBBL with just eight wickets to show in the 13 games she played. However, in the WNCL, she has already picked 12 wickets in just five matches and is the leading wicket-taker at this point.
“It’s unfortunate that Annabel has been ruled out of the series, but our medical team were able to identify the issue early which allows her to go away and get herself right with a busy period coming up,” said Shawn Flegler, national selector and Female High Performance Manager.
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“Molly comes into the squad off the back of strong performances for Victoria in the WNCL, where she’s the current leading wicket-taker. We’ve got plenty of pace-bowling options in the squad, so Molly gives us another spin option should we need it.”
Australia will play three T20Is and a same number of ODIs against New Zealand, with the first match of the tour to be played on March 28 and the last ODI on April 10. The tourists are set to fly to New Zealand on March 13 and will be in isolation for two weeks.
Squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Georgia Wareham, Belinda Vakarewa, Tayla Vlaeminck, Molly Strano