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ICC WORLD T20 - WOMEN

Stars add experience for World T20 defence

09 February 2016

Villani brings a wealth of experience to the batting line-up // Getty Images

Villani, Beams and Osborne recalled as Southern Stars aim for fourth-straight World T20 title

Opener Elyse Villani, leg-spinner Kristen Beams and off-spinner Erin Osborne have been recalled to the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars' 15-player squad for their attempt to win an unprecedented fourth-straight Women's World T20 title in India next month.

SOUTHERN STARS WORLD T20 SQUAD: Meg Lanning (c), Alex Blackwell (vc), Kristen Beams, Lauren Cheatle, Sarah Coyte, Rene Farrell, Holly Ferling, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani

The trio join the Southern Stars squad which took on India last month and which also features 17-year-old left-arm quick Lauren Cheatle, who made her international debut late last month and who will be juggling the demands of her Year 12 studies while on the road with the Australian squad.

WATCH: Cheatle's action similar to Mitch Starc's

The same T20 squad will also travel to New Zealand to contest a three-match T20 series later this month, while a 13-player one-day roster has been named for the three ODIs against the White Ferns, with no changes made to the group that defeated India 2-1 last week.

Beams missed the T20s against India after dislocating her thumbduring her stint with the Melbourne Stars in the Rebel Women's Big Bash League, but the 31-year-old returned for the one-day series against India, where she collected two wickets and maintained a tidy economy rate of 4.06 across three matches.

Her last T20 match for Australia was against the West Indies in late 2014, but she took 14 wickets at 15.92 in her 11 WBBL appearances for the Stars.

Villani, 26, was left out of the team to play India after averaging 15.66 in the Perth Scorchers' first 11 Rebel Women's Big Bash League matches, but she bounced back strongly in the latter part of the tournament, posting unbeaten scores of 72 and 43. She's since continued that form in grade cricket, scoring 126 for Midland-Guildford Cricket Club, and brings with her plenty of international experience having opened for the Southern Stars on 37 occasions in T20s and ODIs.

WATCH: Villani hits out for the Scorchers

Off-spinner Osborne, left out of the side to play India, impressed for the Sydney Thunder at the business end of the WBBL, named player of the final for her 3-21.

"We believe this group contains a good mix of youth and experience that will give us the best chance of contesting the ICC World T20 title," Chairman of Selectors Shawn Flegler said.

"We’ve got a number of options covered with our bowling attack as well as several batters who can produce the attacking game-style we want to play.

"The players have had a solid build up to the tournament with strong competition against India in our recent home series, as well as the first season of the WBBL which not only included Australia’s leading players, but some excellent cricketers from overseas. 

"That preparation, plus a short series against New Zealand later this month, should prepare the team well for a tough pool group at the World Twenty20. We know that we’ll need to be at the top of our game to overcome the other talented teams in the competition.

"It’s an exciting time for the entire squad, but in particular Beth Mooney and Lauren Cheatle who made their international debuts just a few weeks ago. Beth showed positive signs at the top of the order while Lauren impressed with the ball. This will be another great opportunity for these young players."

Promising 21-year-old middle-order batter Naomi Stalenberg has been omitted from the T20 squad after making her international debut against India at Adelaide Oval last month. 

She played just one T20 against India, where she was not required to bat, and Southern Stars coach Matthew Mott said he expected a bright future for the young Sydney Thunder batter. 

"It's a shame Naomi didn’t get a chance to show us what she can do with the bat," Mott said after the T20 series.

"But she'll be a lot better for the experience, she's been out with them in the field and she's seen the way they train. There are encouraging signs for her over the next 6 to 12 months. 

"Certainly next time she gets an opportunity she'll know what to expect." 

Of the 15 players heading to India, 11 have already tasted World T20 glory.

Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Alex Blackwell have played in all three winning finals for the Southern Stars, while Lanning, Sarah Coyte and Jess Jonassen were involved in the 2012 and 2014 victories, and Rene Farrell and Elyse Villani played in the 2010 and 2014 winning XIs.

WATCH: Perry shines against India at the SCG

Grace Harris, Megan Schutt, Lauren Cheatle and Kristen Beams will be making their first appearances at the tournament.

In New Zealand the Southern Stars will come up against some familiar rivals, with five players who took part in the Rebel Women's Big Bash League named in the White Ferns' ODI and T20 squads.

Perth Scorchers allrounder Suzie Bates will skipper both the ODI and T20 sides, while Sophie Devine (Strikers), Sara McGlashan (Sixers), Rachel Priest (Renegades), Amy Satterthwaite (Hurricanes) have been named to play in both formats.

Lea Tahuhu, who played for the ACT Meteors in the Women's National Cricket League late last year, has also been named in both squads.

Southern Stars T20 squad: Meg Lanning (c), Alex Blackwell (vc), Kristen Beams, Lauren Cheatle, Sarah Coyte, Rene Farrell, Holly Ferling, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani

Southern Stars ODI squad: Meg Lanning (c), Alex Blackwell (vc), Kristen Beams, Nicole Bolton, Sarah Coyte, Rene Farrell, Holly Ferling, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt

White Ferns ODI squad: Suzie Bates (c), Erin Bermingham, Sophie Devine, Leigh Kasperek, Katey Martin, Sara McGlashan, Thamsyn Newton, Morna Nielsen, Katie Perkins, Rachel Priest, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu 

White Ferns T20 squad: Suzie Bates (c), Erin Bermingham, Sophie Devine, Leigh Kasperek, Felicity Leydon-Davis, Katey Martin, Sara McGlashan, Thamsyn Newton, Morna Nielsen, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu

Southern Stars v White Ferns ODIs
February 20 at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, 8.30am AEDT
February 22 at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, 8.30am AEDT
February 24 at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, 8.30am AEDT 

Southern Stars v White Ferns T20s 
February 28 at Basin Reserve, Wellington, 10.10am AEDT
March 1 at Basin Reserve, Wellington, 2pm AEDT
March 4 at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, 2pm AEDT

About the Writer

 @JollyLauz18
@JollyLauz18

Laura Jolly is a writer for cricket.com.au. She previously wrote for News Corp Australia and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. 

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