One-day opener Nicole Bolton has been called into Australia’s World T20 squad for next month’s tournament in the Caribbean, while recuperating allrounder Jess Jonassen has also been included in the 15-strong group, pending fitness.
Australia also named a near-identical 14-player ODI squad for their three-match series against Pakistan in Malaysia this month. The World T20 squad will then play three T20Is against Pakistan in Kuala Lumpur before travelling directly to the West Indies.
Australia World T20 squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen (subject to fitness), Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
Australia ODI squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
After wrapping up a 3-0 T20I series win over New Zealand last Friday, Australia have unsurprisingly stuck with a similar formula for the ICC tournament.
Recent call-ups Georgia Wareham – who played all three games against New Zealand – and uncapped quick Tayla Vlaeminck have retained their places in the squad, while Australia remain hopeful Jonassen, who went under the knife for a knee injury last month, will be fully fit.
Jonassen revealed last week she was on track to return for the second half of the Malaysia tour, but the left-arm spinning allrounder will miss the ODIs against Pakistan.
The inclusion of Bolton in the World T20 side is the biggest surprise – despite the 29-year-old Western Australian’s outstanding record in 50-over internationals, where she averages 46.22, she’s played just two T20Is for her country, the most recent of which came in September 2016.
Her recall as a back-up batter is reward for an outstanding Rebel WBBL campaign for the Perth Scorchers last summer, where she finished third on the runs table with 482 at 32.13, while she also impressed during a recent stint for Lancashire in England’s domestic Super League T20 competition.
"There’s only two players that come into the ODI and T20 sides that didn’t take part in the recent series against New Zealand, which is really pleasing as it means we have a stable playing group who are gelling really well," National Selector Shawn Flegler said.
"Nicole’s generally been considered a 50-over player but she’s put in a lot of work to improve her short-form game and its evident in her recent T20 form.
"Jess is recovering well from her knee injury and will join the squad in Malaysia, with the aim to have her playing in the two warm-up matches in the West Indies.
But before they switch their attention to the World T20, Australia’s focus will be on the three-match ODI series against seventh-ranked Pakistan.
ICC Women’s Championship points – which determine the four nations who directly qualify for the next 50-over World Cup in 2021 – will be up for grabs in the three-match series and Australia have a chance to move to the top of the Championship table with a series win.
Australia have made three changes to the ODI squad which completed a 3-0 series victory over India in March; absent is the injured Jonassen, alongside omitted leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington and quick Belinda Vakarewa.
Wareham and Vlaeminck are strong chances to make their ODI debuts after being called into Australia’s 50-over squad for the first time, while Queensland allrounder Delissa Kimmince is in line to play her first ODI since 2014.
"The three ODIs are crucial in making sure we stay at the top of the ICC Women’s Championship table with an eye on the next 50-over World Cup, and a successful series will give the group great confidence heading to the West Indies," Flegler said.
"This is an exciting group of players who’ve played some very good cricket in the T20 format in particular, over the last six months, and with injection of some youth we believe this group has the right attributes to have a successful World Cup."
Australia will travel to Malaysia on Monday ahead of Thursday’s first ODI at the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur.
Pakistan named a 15-strong squad to play across both formats late last month, with Javeria Khan to lead the team in the absence of injured skipper Bismah Maroof.
Pakistan squad: Javeria Khan (c), Bibi Nahida, Ayesha Zafar, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui, Sidra Amin, Omaima Sohail, Nida Rashid, Sidra Nawaz, Sana Mir, Nashra Sundhu, Anum Amin, Natalia Parvaiz, Aliya Riaz, Diana Baig, Aiman Anwar.
CommBank Tour of Malaysia
October 18: First ODI v Pakistan, Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur
October 20: Second ODI v Pakistan, Kinrara Academy Oval
October 22: Third ODI v Pakistan, Kinrara Academy Oval
October 25: First T20I v Pakistan, Kinrara Academy Oval
October 27: Second T20I v Pakistan, Kinrara Academy Oval
October 29: Third T20I v Pakistan, Kinrara Academy Oval
2018 ICC Women's World T20
November 9: Australia v Pakistan, Province Stadium, Guyana
November 11: Australia v Ireland, Province Stadium
November 13: Australia v New Zealand, Province Stadium
November 17: Australia v India, Province Stadium
November 22: Semi-finals, Sir Vivian Richards Ground, Antigua
November 24: Final, Sir Vivian Richards Ground