New Zealand v Australia T20Is - Women's
Sutherland ruled out of NZ tour, Strano called in
Injury forces Australia to make a change to their bumper 17-player squad to tour New Zealand
4 March 2021, 09:52 AM AEST
Australia and Annabel Sutherland have been dealt a blow with the exciting allrounder ruled out of the upcoming limited-overs tour of New Zealand.
Sutherland, who will be replaced in the 17-player squad by fellow Victorian Molly Strano, will miss both the trans-Tasman series and the remainder of the domestic 50-over season after suffering a stress reaction in the femur of her right leg.
Australian team doctor Philippa Inge said 19-year-old Sutherland had experienced "some vague posterior thigh pain" following the last round of WNCL matches, with scans confirming the injury.
It is a disappointing setback for the right-arm pace-bowling allrounder, who is considered one of Australian cricket's brightest prospects and who was part of the 2020 T20 World Cup winning squad after making her international debut in February last year.
"It's unfortunate that Annabel has been ruled out of the series, but our medical team were able to identify the issue early which allows her to go away and get herself right with a busy period coming up," Cricket Australia Female High Performance Manager and National Selector Shawn Flegler said.
Her absence has created an opportunity for off-spinner Strano, who was initially omitted from the touring party after being part of the same World Cup squad, and last year's group that took on New Zealand in Brisbane in September and October.
Strano, 28, has played seven T20Is for Australia but has yet to make an ODI debut.
As the current leading wicket taker in ongoing the Women's National Cricket League, she now has a chance to show selectors she could make an impact in next year's ODI World Cup, also to be played in New Zealand.
She will be vying for a spot in the XI against Australia's four-strong frontline spin attack of Ashleigh Gardner, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham and Jess Jonassen.
"Molly comes into the squad off the back of strong performances for Victoria in the WNCL," Flegler continued.
"We've got plenty of pace-bowling options in the squad, so Molly gives us another spin option should we need it."
Sutherland's injury and Strano's selection will also have ramifications for Victoria's push for their first WNCL title in 15 years, as they lose yet another leading player to national selection.
The star-studded Victoria team is undefeated on top of the ladder after five matches, but will bid farewell to six players – Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, Tayla Vlaeminck, Molineux, Wareham and Strano – for their final two round matches and the final, should they qualify.
Sutherland will also miss their upcoming matches against Queensland and Western Australia.
Australia will take on New Zealand in three T20Is from March 28, before the coveted Rose Bowl Trophy goes on the line in three One-Day Internationals from April 4.
The squad will depart on March 13 with players and staff to complete two weeks of managed isolation in Christchurch ahead of the first T20I.
CommBank tour of New Zealand 2021
Australia ODI & T20I Squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Georgia Wareham, Belinda Vakarewa, Tayla Vlaeminck
All matches will be shown live in Australia on Fox Cricket and Kayo