Problem of Plenty for Australia’s Selectors ahead of Women’s Ashes 2021-22

After easy domination over the Men’s Ashes by the reigning T20 World Cup Champions Australia, the focus now shifts towards the women’s team from the country. Retaining the Ashes within 12 days since the opening game, the men’s team stunned Joe Root’s England clinching the first three of the five test match competitions on their home ground.

Women's Ashes
Women’s Ashes. PC: Twitter

Regarded as the most successful team of women’s cricket, the Aussies women host England from January 27 for a one-off test followed by three ODIs and three T20Is as a part of the big competition. While England has announced the main squad of 17 members and a 12-member squad for England A more than a month before the oldest cricketing rivals play against each other, Australia is yet to announce it.

In an interaction with cricket.com.au, head coach Matthew Mott shared that some exceptional performances in the seventh edition of Women’s Big League (WBBL) have made the selectors re-think of the squad which would play for keeping the title retained at home for the fourth consecutive season. Further, adding that Covid-19 forced the selectors to choose a single squad for all the three formats for the series held this year. However, the emergence of great talent during WBBL has made the job somewhat difficult though it is a good sign for Cricket Australia looking at the depth the team has.

“There’s a number of players that did so well in the WBBL, and it’s forced the panel to say that we’re now in a position where we can highly specialize our squads.

“It is a little bit dependent on how easy the movement will be between Australia and Australia A (with COVID restrictions) … there’re all sorts of things on the table at the moment, whether we just pick a Test squad to start with and then move from there, or if we name each format early.

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“What we’re not sure about at the moment is how much flexibility will we have to bring players in and out (of the squad), and what it looks like for players crossing over (from Australia A).”

However, what can be predicted of the playing XI is that we won’t be seeing many rotations in the ODI or the T20I squad of the number one women’s side as we have the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup starting us days after Ashes finish followed by Commonwealth Games in July but the fact that some uncapped players deserve to be a part of the squad after their WBBL or WNCL performances, is what is creating a difficult situation for the selectors.

Having said that, the selectors would be forced to make two big changes as leg spinner Georgia Wareham ruptured her ACL in the early days of WBBL|07 and all-rounder Sophie Molineux suffered a stress fracture to her right foot during the last stage of the tournament ruling them out of the big competition.

Reports suggest that the selectors would be meeting in early January to finalize both their national and ‘A’ team squads

Author of the poetry book ‘The Scent of Rhythm’, I am a passionate writer and a Sports enthusiast who writes on Cricket and plays Badminton.

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