Australia is all set to play against New Zealand from Sptember 29. ©SouthernStars

Australia have announced their squad for the upcoming home series against New Zealand. The series comprises three T20I matches which will start from 29th September.

Experienced left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen has been ruled out of the series with a knee injury. Along with her, leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington, and batter Naomi Stalenberg found themselves out of the squad. Both were a part of the squad that played India and England in the T20I tri-series in India in March.

With Jonassen’s injury, two uncapped players (Georgia Wareham and Tayla Vlaeminck) get their maiden call-up in the squad. Leg-spinner Wareham and medium pacer Vlaemnick both have been a part of the Australian National Performance Squad.

19-year-old Georgia Wareham has already played in the WBBL and the national selector Shawn Flegler is pleased with her. “It’s pleasing to see young players such as Georgia and Tayla putting their hand up for selection. Whilst they haven’t played a lot of domestic cricket, Georgia has represented the Melbourne Renegades in the WBBL [Women’s Big Bash League] and both players have come through the player pathway, having taken part in the inaugural overseas under 19 tour and been a part of the National Performance Squad this winter,”

“We’re really fortunate with the depth we have in particular in the leg-spin department, and we feel that Georgia provides the full package that is required for T20 cricket, she’s an outstanding fielder and her bowling has really progressed over the last 12 months.

Flegler further added, “Tayla is a little bit different to anyone else around the country, she’s been unlucky with injury over the last few years, but she’s come back and has performed at the right time. Tayla has the attributes to be that key strike bowler who can take early wickets, she’s young and competitive.”

The upcoming T20I series will help Australia prepare for the ICC Women’s World T20 in the Caribbean in November. Coach Matthew Mott said, “There’s not a lot of room for change, we’re reasonably confident with what we need. This team hasn’t been thrown together, it’s been evolving over time so the selection is pretty strong on the make-up of that team already.”

Mott further added, “We agonised a lot over the make-up of the team. In T20s, I think we’ve got a pretty good formula, and to be honest, the first XI pretty much picks themselves,” “The make-up of the rest of the squad was up for grabs, and we’ve had a great week and a half (of training). We’ve injected a little bit of youth into the squad, but they’ve earned their spots.”

Captain of Australia, Meg Lanning, too thinks this series will be a good run-up to the T20 World Cup later this year. “Yeah, I guess this is nailing down the style of play that we want to get out there and show all the time. In the Indian series in March we did really well, and now it’s about injecting those young players into our squad and just making sure we’re really clear on that aggressive nature that we want to play, especially heading into the T20 World Cup.”

Lanning further added, “We’ve had a really good break over the last couple of months, from touring we’ve been at home and spent some time there. It’s been really important for our group to freshen up knowing that we’ve got such a busy time coming up. I think it was really important for our group to get away from cricket for a little bit (at the camp in Gold Coast) and learn a little bit more about each other. Really happy with the way the 10 days panned out.”

Full Fixtures here

Squad: 

Meg Lanning (C), Rachael Haynes (VC), Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham

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