Lauren Cheatle recalled as Australia name strong squad for India series
Alyssa Healy's injury postponed Australia's skipper announcement.
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Cricket Australia have named a strong unit ahead of their full-fledged tour to India later in the year. However, the management is yet to finalise their skipper after Meg Lanning decided to call her time on international cricket. Alyssa Healy has led the side in the absence of Lanning but her fitness is currently under check and the board decided not to name the captain just yet. Furthermore, big hitter Grace Harris has returned to the T20 squad after missing the West Indies series.
Meanwhile, New South Wales pacer Lauren Cheatle has earned her first international call-up in about four years. The 25-year-old represented the national team in four ODIs and seven T20I matches and has seven international wickets to her name. She has done a commendable job in the ongoing Women’s Big Bash League and made it to the squad for the series against India.
National Selector Shawn Flegler gave an update on Healy as he expects the cricketer to recover before the only Test, which is slated to begin on December 21. He will wait until Healy recovers and in case she fails, the management will then take a call regarding the captaincy.
“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,” Shawn was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au
Lauren Cheatle thoroughly deserves her place: Shawn Flegler
Shawn confirmed that the pacer will be available for the Test match but will come back during Christmas to play in the WCNL. He is elated with Lauren’s recent performances and stated that the cricketer thoroughly deserves a spot in the squad. He also pointed out that the pacer was prior experience of playing in India, which can come in handy for the team.
“Lauren Cheatle has overcome significant injury setbacks and thoroughly deserves her place in the squad through her performances over the past six months. 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,” Shawn said.
"Lauren has playing experience in India (she played three of her seven T20Is for Australia during the T20 World Cup in India in 2016) and provides another fast-bowling option, particularly in regard to the Test match, which is the format she has been selected for," he added.
IND-W vs AUS-W Schedule
December 21-24: Test match, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
December 28: First ODI, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
December 30: Second ODI, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
January 2: Third ODI, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
January 5: First T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai
January 7: Second T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai
January 9: Third T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai
Australia Women squad for India tour
Darcie Brown, Lauren Cheatle (Test only), Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris (T20s only), Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham