Molineux recalled but Protea drama as ill Kapp ruled out

The return of Sophie Molineux for Australia somewhat overshadowed in pre-game drama with news South Africa's superstar allrounder Marizanne Kapp will miss the Test match

Sophie Molineux has been recalled to Australia's XI for the one-off Test against South Africa at the WACA Ground, while the Proteas have suffered an enormous blow with Marizanne Kapp ruled out.

Australia will bowl first after Alyssa Healy won a remarkable seventh consecutive toss in the multi-format series.

Kapp was absent from training in the lead-up to the game and despite assurances from inside the camp that she was available for selection, the superstar allrounder was a conspicuous absentee from the South African team photo and warm-ups on Thursday morning.

Proteas captain Laura Wolvaardt confirmed at the toss Kapp would miss the game after falling ill on the eve of the match, saying: "Kappie is not very well … (it's a) very big loss for us."

Australia XI: Beth Mooney, Phoebe Litchfield, Ellyse Perry, Tahlia McGrath, Alyssa Healy (c, wk), Annabel Sutherland, Ashleigh Gardner, Sophie Molineux, Kim Garth, Alana King, Darcie Brown

South Africa XI: Laura Wolvaardt (c), Anneke Bosch, Sune Luus, Tazmin Brits, Delmari Tucker, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Sinalo Jafta (wk), Nonkululeko Mlaba, Ayanda Hlubi

Australia have made two changes to the Test XI that suffered an eight-wicket loss to India at Wankhede in December, with left-arm spin-bowling allrounder Molineux playing her first international game since October 2021, having been recalled after a long period out of the game due to stress fractures and a ruptured ACL.

She has replaced fellow left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen in the side, while fast bowler Darcie Brown is the other inclusion, replacing Lauren Cheatle, who was ruled out of the remainder of the summer after having a skin cancer removed from her neck.

Healy said she chose to bowl first despite there being a forecast top of 43 degrees Celsius on Thursday in order to "get the best out of the bowling conditions" with a small amount of grass on a WACA pitch being used for the first time in two years.

"We're chock full of allrounders, which is awesome," Healy said.

"Molineux has just slotted back in really easily … she looks in a great place with her cricket at the moment."

Jonassen flew back to Brisbane on Thursday morning to link up with Queensland ahead of their final game of the Women's National Cricket League regular season on Saturday.

South Africa have included four debutants in their inexperienced Test XI as they prepare to play their first four-day game since 2022, and just their second Test of the last decade.

Batter Tazmin Brits, allrounder Delmi Tucker and quicks Masabata Klaas and Ayanda Hlubi will all make their Test bow.

"We were a bit fifty-fifty on the toss so we're right to have a bat first," Wolvaardt said.

Women's CommBank T20I Series v South Africa

First T20: Australia won by eight wickets

Second T20: South Africa won by six wickets

Third T20: Australia win by five wickets

Women's CommBank ODI Series v South Africa

First ODI: Australia won by eight wickets

February 7: South Africa won by 84 runs

February 10: Australia won by 110 runs (DLS method)

Women's CommBank Test Match v South Africa

February 15-18: Only Test, WACA Ground, Perth 11.00am

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

South Africa Test squad: Laura Wolvaardt, Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Nadine de Klerk, Mieke de Ridder, Ayanda Hlubi, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Masabata Klaas, Suné Luus, Eliz-Mari Marx, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Chloé Tryon, Delmi Tucker