Meg Lanning returns, Alyssa Healy to miss series against Pakistan

Meg Lanning will lead Australia, while Alyssa Healy will miss the Pakistan series due to a calf injury

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Meg Lanning

Meg Lanning returned to the national side after a five-month break © Getty Images

Meg Lanning returned to the national side and was named captain for the 13-member squad for the ODI series against Pakistan on Friday. 

Lanning had taken an ‘indefinite’ break from cricket due to personal reasons following Australia’s Gold Medal win at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. 

"Meg brings so much to the side both on and off the field, and it's pleasing to welcome her back at such an important time with the T20 World Cup just over a month away," national selector Shawn Flegler said.

Alyssa Healy captained the side in the absence of Lanning on the team’s recent tour of India. She will miss the series against Pakistan due to a calf injury, sustained during the fourth T20I. Meanwhile, Tahlia McGrath will continue her role as vice-captain of the side. 

Jess Jonassen was part of the India tour but strained her hamstring in the first T20I, forcing her to withdraw mid-way. She is expected to be fit in time for the Pakistan series and has been retained in the squad. 

Kim Garth and Phoebe Litchfield, who made their T20I debut against India, have been given their maiden ODI call-up against Pakistan. On the opposite, Heather Graham, Amanda-Jade Wellington, and Grace Harris have been omitted. However, Flegler said, "They all remain in contention for selection for the T20 leg of the tour and T20 World Cup."

The three-match ODI series will be part of the ICC Women's ODI Championship 2022-25. Pakistan have won five matches from their last six in the tournament and currently, are second on the points table with 10 points. Whereas, defending champions Australia will begin their ODI Championship cycle with this series. 

Cricket Australia will announce the squad for the T20I leg in due course.

Australia's squad for the ODI series: Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Jess Jonassen (subject to fitness), Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland

ODI fixtures

January 16: Allan Border Field, Brisbane, 5:35 AM IST

January 18: Allan Border Field, Brisbane 5:35 AM IST

January 21: North Sydney Oval, 6:35 AM IST