Meg Lanning boost ahead of India tour
AUSSIE skipper Meg Lanning's return to top-level cricket will be complete when she leads Australia on their ODI and T20 tour of India next month.
It has been a seven-month recovery for Lanning who required surgery on her injured shoulder, forcing her to sit out the Women's Ashes series last year as well as the WBBL tournament.
Cricket Australia selectors this morning named 14-person squads for each format.
Australia will contest three ODIs against World Cup finalists India as part of the ICC Women's Championship which leads toward automatic qualification to the 2021 ICC Women's World Cup in New Zealand.
Following the ODIs, England will join the two sides for a T20 Tri-Series which culminates in a final on March 31.
Rachael Haynes was named vice-captain following the retirement of Alex Blackwell earlier this week.
NSW continued it's domination in both squads, with five named to play in the ODIs and six women from the Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder WBBL franchises selected for the T20 matches.
After playing an important role in Australia's Ashes success, South Australian all-rounder Tahlia McGrath was unavailable for selection after suffering a back injury.
Spinners Molly Strano and Kristen Beams have also missed selection along with pace bowler Sarah Aley.
Selector Shawn Flegler welcomed the return of Lanning from injury.
"Meg's rehab has been progressing well, she's back to her old self with the bat and with a few weeks until the first match, we're confident she'll be right to play when the times comes," Flegler said.
"Meg will resume the captaincy and we're extremely fortunate to have Rach as her deputy after doing a fantastic job as stand-in skipper during the Women's Ashes.
"She'll be a great sounding board for Meg and will continue to drive the standards of the team."
Flegler said the India tour would provide a huge challenge for both squads.
"There's no doubt this is going to be a really tough tour against an India side who is playing some great cricket and of course the world champions England," he said.
"It'll be a changing of the guard as such with the retirement of Alex not only in terms of skill, but as a leader and a wonderful team person.
"She's been outstanding for a long period of time but there's now the chance for others to step up and fill that void."
Australian ODI squad for Tour of India
Meg Lanning VIC (c), Rachael Haynes NSW (vc), Nicole Bolton WA, Nicola Carey NSW, Ashleigh Gardner SA, Alyssa Healy NSW, Jess Jonassen QLD, Sophie Molineux VIC, Beth Mooney QLD, Ellyse Perry NSW, Megan Schutt SA, Belinda Vakarewa NSW, Elyse Villani WA, Amanda-Jade Wellington SA.
Australian T20 Tri-Series squad
Meg Lanning Perth Scorchers (c), Rachael Haynes Sydney Thunder (vc), Nicola Carey Sydney Thunder, Ashleigh Gardner Sydney Sixers, Alyssa Healy Sydney Sixers, Jess Jonassen Brisbane Heat, Delissa Kimmince Brisbane Heat, Sophie Molineux Melbourne Renegades, Beth Mooney Brisbane Heat, Ellyse Perry Sydney Sixers, Megan Schutt Adelaide Strikers, Naomi Stalenberg Sydney Thunder, Elyse Villani Perth Scorchers, Amanda-Jade Wellington Adelaide Strikers.
Australia Women's Team Tour of India schedule
12 March: First ODI, Vadodara International Cricket Stadium
15 March: Second ODI, Vadodara International Cricket Stadium
18 March: Third ODI, Vadodara International Cricket Stadium
T20I Tri-Series (Australian fixtures only)
22 March: Australia v India, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
23 March: Australia v England, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
26 March: Australia v India, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
28 March: Australia v England, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
31 March: Final, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, Mumbai