What’s the story?
On Tuesday the 10th of October, Cricket Australia (CA) announced the squads for the upcoming three ODIs and one-off day-night Test match for Women’s Ashes.
Allrounder Tahlia McGrath and left-arm fast bowler Lauren Cheatle were recalled to the ODI and Test squads. Furthermore, as many as four other players are in line to receive their maiden Baggy Greens next month.
In case you didn’t know…
Instituted in 1931, the first women's Test series between Australia and England, which was also the first women's Test series ever, was played in 1934–35. However, the contest was not designated as the “Women's Ashes” until 1998.
In total, 21 series (48 matches) have been played between the two nations. Australia have won 12 of them with England winning 9, while 27 matches have been drawn.
The heart of the matter
In the 14-member ODI squad, only McGrath and Cheatle are the two new faces. Three players have been dropped from the squad that travelled to England for the ICC Women’s World Cup in June. Among them are fast bowlers Sarah Aley and Belinda Vakarewa, and captain Meg Lanning, who is injured.
Lanning, who is nursing a shoulder injury, had already been ruled out for the entire summer. In her absence, Rachael Haynes will act as the captain in both ODIs and Tests.
McGrath and Cheatle also found their names in the 15-strong Test squad. Vakarewa, opener Beth Mooney, leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington and allrounder Ashleigh Gardner are the other uncapped players to have made the Test squad.
Australia ODI Squad: Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell (VC), Nicole Bolton, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes (C), Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington
Australia Test Squad: Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell (VC), Nicole Bolton, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes (C), Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington
The ODI series begins on 22nd October, 2017 with the first match to be played at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane. The ODI series will be followed by the one-off Test to be played at North Sydney Oval, from 9th November to 12th November, 2017, and a three-match T20I series to follow.
Although they will be without their captain and best batter, Australia do have quite a balanced squad. They have the potential and capability of beating England in both formats and retaining the trophy.