Australia women’s squad for Bangladesh tour announced, Tayla Vlaeminck called

With 6 Twenty20 (T20) World Cup titles, including the most recent triumph in South Africa in 2023, Australia is gearing up to defend their title in the forthcoming T20 World Cup in Bangladesh later this year. Despite appearing settled with their team selection, having fielded the same squad in 4 recent bilateral series, Australia has opted for an experiment with a brutal snub to a star all-rounder.

Australia women's squad for Bangladesh tour announced, Tayla Vlaeminck called.
Australia women’s squad for Bangladesh tour announced, Tayla Vlaeminck called.

With the series itinerary yet to be confirmed, reports suggest Australia will arrive in Bangladesh on the 17th of March 2024. They’ll compete in three One-Day Internationals on March 21, 23, and 25th, followed by a T20 International (T20I) series. The 3rd and final T20I is likely to be played on the 4th of April 2024.

After being a regular since her debut, all-rounder (spin) Jess Jonassen was dropped from the ODI XI against West Indies in October 2023. She then found herself out of the T20I XI against India in December 2023 and was also omitted from the Test XI in February 2024. Despite her performances in domestic leagues, Jess struggled to secure a spot in the playing XI and to add to her woes, she has now been dropped from the squad entirely.

Pace all-rounder Heather Graham made cameo appearances with the national team during their ’23/24 home season but is now omitted for the upcoming Bangladesh tour. Fit-again all-rounder (spin) Sophie Molineux and fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck make a return to the national set-up, while another notable inclusion is that of Alana King in the T20Is after only being part of the ODI team in recent times.

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Australia’s squad for the tour of Bangladesh:
Alyssa Healy (C, WK), Tahlia McGrath (VC), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Tayla Vlaeminck, Grace Harris (T20Is only)

Sophie Molineux returned to the national side during the One-Off Test against South Africa this month, and returns for international white-ball fixtures for the first time since 2021. Post-rehab, Sophie showcased her prowess in domestic cricket, featuring in 6 One-Day games where she accumulated 167 runs and claimed 17 wickets, averaging 14.47. In a T20 match with a youthful Australia side, she registered impressive figures of 59 runs and 1/26 against South Africa, knocking on the door for selection.

On the other hand, Tayla Vlaeminck, who suffered a stress fracture in her navicular bone during the Women’s Ashes series in January 2022, made a comeback to competitive cricket with the ‘A’ squad for a series against England in 2023. However, her return was brief as she dislocated her non-bowling shoulder. This year, she made a successful return to action, picking up 4 wickets from 5 One-Day games with an impressive economy rate of 4.13. She is poised to feature in the senior setup for the first time since 2022.

Head of Performance for women’s cricket and National Selector, Shawn Flegler, on the squad selection stated, “We’ve tried to pick a balanced squad with multiple bowling options and, unfortunately for Jess and Heather, they have missed out on this occasion… they’re exceptional cricketers who are highly valued by our group and we certainly haven’t counted them out of future opportunities.”

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Despite Jess Jonassen’s absence, Australia remains formidable with the inclusions of in-form Sophie Molineux and Tayla Vlaeminck. Since their T20I series defeat against England in July 2023, Australia hasn’t lost another, winning 2-1 against West Indies and South Africa at home and India in an away series. Against a resilient Bangladesh unit, Australia aims to adjust, adapt, and achieve another series win, continuing their winning momentum.

(Quotes sourced from Cricket Australia media release)

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