With a home T20 World Cup just beyond the horizon, Australian selectors have opted to field a squad similar to the one that toured the Caribbean for the series against Sri Lanka. Only all-rounder Erin Burns, who made her debut in the 6-0 rout of the West Indies, misses out against the Lankans.
Australia host Sri Lanka for three T20Is in Sydney, starting from September 29, before they move north to Brisbane for three ODIs, starting from October 5. With the Ashes win away from home shortly followed by the West Indies tour, the selectors have opted for a cover player in the T20 squad in place of Burns. Other than that, they are entirely focused on preparing for the World Cup with the same set of players.
"The selectors have elected to stick with the same group of players that completed a 6-0 tour whitewash against the West Indies recently with Erin Burns the unlucky player to miss out on the ODI squad," Shawn Flegler, the national selector, was quoted saying by Cricbuzz.
"It's been a big few months for the players with an away Ashes series and a short turnaround from the West Indies tour, and with back-to-back T20 matches we have named an extra player in the T20 squad as cover. With the T20 World Cup just under five months away it's crucial to find some consistency in the T20 squad, and we feel like we have that which is pleasing,” Flegler said.
"Sri Lanka is an up and coming side and will provide a good challenge across both formats, with the series also presenting the team with the opportunity to fine-tune its preparations ahead of the World Cup," Flegler added.
Opening batswoman Nicole Bolton is yet to return to the national side after she took a leave of absence to focus on her mental health. However, her performances – 77 and 63 for Western Australia – in the opening round of the Women’s National Cricket League will inspire confidence among the team management.
Although their focus is largely concentrated on the T20 World Cup preparations, the Aussies have the opportunity to enhance their position at the top of the ODI rankings, ahead of rivals England, with a good performance in the three ODIs.
Australia ODI squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Heather Graham, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham