'Proper handful': King key for Aussies' India tour

Alyssa Healy lauds the impact of a rejuvenated Alana King with Australia eying the challenge of December's tour of India

King claims three-fa on return to the green and gold

Australian captain Alyssa Healy has backed Alana King to play a significant role in the upcoming tour of India after the leg-spinner's sparkling return to the women's national team.

Having been left out of the CommBank T20 series and opening one-dayer against the West Indies, King took career-best figures in the latter form, claiming 3-16 from five overs on Thursday.

The 27-year-old put Australia in a strong position, with the tourists reduced to 8-107, but the fixture at Melbourne's Junction Oval was abandoned because of bad weather.

The outcome left Australia with a 1-0 lead in the three-match series ahead of Saturday's final match at the same venue.

King was called in as a replacement for injured quick Darcie Brown and will look to build on her performance ahead of the India tour.

"It's hard (for batters) because she challenges both edges of the bat," Healy said.

"You're kind of playing for that big, ripping leg-spinner because she puts so much work on the ball, but the natural variation of one skidding on actually makes her more effective.

"She gets a lot of batters lbw, especially in Big Bash cricket, so she's a proper handful for us. Pink ball, white ball, red ball – it doesn't really matter.

"She's going to be a great asset to our side, so hopefully she can maintain that and keep sticking her hand up for selection."

'So many options': Healy hails impact of King, Sutherland

King spent a month in Perth working hard on controlling her length after returning home from The Hundred in August and is reaping the benefits.

"Her speed through the air at the moment and her control with her spin and her length has been impressive right throughout the week," Healy said.

"It was actually really easy throwing her the ball as the first spinning option (on Thursday) knowing that she was going to get the job done.

"I'm pumped to see her back out here for Australia, and the passion and the energy that she brings is great for our group.

"It was nice to see her get rewarded."

Feeling 22: Sutherland bags three on her birthday

King admitted she "drifted too full" during this year's Ashes where she went wicketless in the one-off Test in Nottingham then was overlooked for all three T20Is and first ODI, but played the final two ODIs taking four wickets.

"I can't control selections or anything, I can just control how I go about my things and I've worked really hard on my bowling and on all aspects of my game and I'm just stoked to be in the side and play my role and take some really good wickets," King said on Thursday.

"I was just stoked they were coming out really nicely and have been for a few weeks now.

"It was great to get a few wickets but just a shame the match got abandoned."

Healy lauded Australia's patience with the ball on Thursday on what looked like a good batting wicket.

Plans to restrict Hayley Matthews paid off when the West Indies captain and star batter was bowled by Kim Garth for 20 off 20 balls.

Matthews will again be crucial to the tourists' hopes of causing an upset to deny Australia another series win.

"We want to win games of cricket and win series, and that won't change heading into Saturday," Healy said. 

"We're looking to come out here and be as clinical as what we have in the last two games."

CommBank ODIs v West Indies 2023

First ODI: Australia won by eight wickets

Second ODI: Match abandoned

Third ODI: October 14, Junction Oval, 10.05am AEDT

Australia squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

West Indies squad: Hayley Matthews (c), Shemaine Campbelle (vc), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shamilia Connell, Afy Fletcher, Cherry Ann Fraser, Shabika Gajnabi, Jannillea Glasgow, Chinelle Henry, Zaida James, Djenaba Joseph, Ashmini Munisar, Karishma Ramharack, Stafanie Taylor, Rashada Williams