CommBank Series v India - T20Is
McGrath firms for debut in allrounder-heavy XI
Multi-skilled Aussies jostling for spots to face India in T20I series opener with young quicks Stella Campbell and Darcie Brown likely to be rested
Adam Burnett on the Gold Coast
6 October 2021, 02:45 PM AEST
Australia look set to stick to an allrounder-heavy XI for Thursday night's T20I opener against India, with captain Meg Lanning confident a couple of her multi-skilled young stars can make an impact with the bat.
With back-up batter Georgia Redmayne playing a warm-up game with Brisbane Heat on Wednesday ahead of the Weber WBBL – which begins next week – the world champions look likely to instead hand a T20I debut to in-form allrounder Tahlia McGrath.
As is seemingly always the case with this Australian side, there is jostling for positions among the pace-bowling allrounder group.
Annabel Sutherland is making a case for selection with her recent bowling form, while Nicola Carey's excellent track record is ensuring she remains in the frame.
And we’re all set for Part III #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/dWcynNE78t— Adam Burnett (@AdamBurnett09) October 6, 2021
Uncapped seamer Hannah Darlington, who has taken 35 wickets across the past two seasons of the WBBL, is another who could factor into selectors' thinking after she made an impressive ODI debut last month in Mackay.
"There'll be a couple of changes I think," Lanning said. "It's been spoken about Tayla (Valeminck) being available which is really exciting, so we'll have a look at (the wicket) and see if that makes an impact on selection in terms of bowling.
"We've chatted a little bit at selection about whether we want to stick with that specialist batter or whether we feel like we've got enough coverage with those allrounders.
"I certainly think both of those options could work, but the depth within our allrounders is incredible, really – there's a lot of really good batting that we haven't seen at this level just because of the strength of our top order, so potentially we could utilise that a little bit more in this series.
"Balance is important and so is having variety with the ball, and making sure we match that up with the conditions is crucial as well.
"We feel like we've got really good depth in all those areas, we just need to make sure we get those selections right."
After making their Test debuts last week, teenage pace pair Stella Campbell and Darcie Brown will likely be rested from game one at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast, where the remainder of this multi-format series will be played.
"They've pulled up reasonably well," Lanning said. "I don't think they would've bowled for four days in a row before so it was a good challenge for them and they've had a pretty quiet few days, and probably will continue to over the next little bit.
"They'll be ready for selection at some point in the T20s, whether it's tomorrow or the weekend.
"There'll likely be some changes to our pace-bowling options throughout the T20 leg, just to make sure we're looking after those bowlers."
Australia currently hold a 6-4 points lead in the series, with each of the three T20Is worth two points.
CommBank Series v India
Australia lead India 6-4 on points
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Darcie Brown, Maitlan Brown, Stella Campbell, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Georgia Redmayne, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
India T20I squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Shikha Pandey, Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh (wk), Harleen Deol, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Renuka Singh.
First ODI: Australia won by nine wickets
Second ODI: Australia won by five wickets
Third ODI: India won by two wickets
One-off Test: Match drawn