India opener Smriti Mandhana has scored a flawless century as Australia continue to struggle to take wickets in the only Test of the CommBank Series on the Gold Coast.
Rachael Haynes has been opening strongly for Australia and was expected to do so Thursday 30th September for day 1 of the Test against India.
A Test match isn’t easy to find and not something a player just stumbles on, and unfortunately for Haynes her injured right hamstring she suffered over the weekend has rendered her unavailable for selection. A huge blow for Australia and Haynes who would no doubt be gutted to miss the opportunity. Australian selectors now have to decide who takes her place in the squad, the batting line-up and the vice position.
That last amendment was made, with Alyssa Healy named as vice for this match. A true champion and the obvious option to be by Meg Lanning’s side. Healy brings not just incredible talent but the leadership and drive that she shows from behind the stumps. Lucky for the viewers at home, we often get to hear some of it, too.
With Haynes out, someone needs to join Healy to open. We can assume that Beth Mooney will take that position as she did in the second ODI, and a good job was done at that. Expecting Mooney to push up the line, that leaves Alyssa Healy, Lanning, Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardiner, Tahlia McGrath and Nicola Carey as Australia’s top 7, and a strong one at that.
McGrath has not only proven to the selectors what she can do with the bat, but her pace has been a much needed addition with the notable outs of Megan Schutt and Tayla Vlaeminck.
Although Sophie Molineux suffered a noticeable injury over the weekend to her face, she’ll be set to go and will have a few youngsters joining her in that bowling attack.
Another quick who looks to be in for the Test match is Annabel Sutherland. The 19-year-old has proven her form across the WBBL season and ODI matches against India. The all-rounder would be a welcome addition to the attack, particularly in the absence of Vlaeminck. Sutherland has proven herself and I hope to see her make her Test debut, and to do so with Georgia Wareham.
Wareham narrowly missed out on selection in 2019 and deserves her opportunity in a Test. It takes a lot to crack this strong Australian side, but with a few injuries to the squad, there are opportunities everywhere to be taken by these impressive young women.
Georgia Redmayne is another player I would love to see get her opportunity for Australia. The 27-year-old medical doctor has an impressive WBBL career, and resigned from her job in January to focus on her cricket.
The addition of Redmayne would be my decision, not just for her talent on the field but her experience and maturity that would help lead this young side. With Haynes flying home, Queensland Fire captain Redmayne would slot into the side seamlessly.
So, who makes the final cut? We expect the Australians to name their final side before the first ball tomorrow.