Why was Alana King picked over Amanda Jade Wellington for Ashes 2021-22?

While just a week back when the BCCI announced the 15-member India women’s squad for the upcoming New Zealand series and the World Cup raised many eyebrows, Cricket Australia has also managed to do so, albeit with just one key selection.

 

Australia announces 15 Member Women's Ashes Squad, Alana King makes surprise entry. PC: cricket.com.au
Australia announces 15 Member Women’s Ashes Squad, Alana King makes surprise entry. PC: cricket.com.au

 

On January 12, Cricket Australia announced a 15-member squad for the Women’s Ashes that will be played from January 20 Down Under. Given that the regular leg spinner Georgia Wareham is out due to injury, there was a spot to be filled in by another leg spinner. The selectors had mainly two options; Amanda Jade Wellington and Alana King. While King made the cut for the Women’s Ashes, Wellington made it to Australia A squad. Both these players will have a point to prove going into the England series as it is likely that only one of the two could make it to the World Cup squad.

Key points of difference: Alana King vs Amanda Jade Wellington

Amanda Jade Wellington Alana King
Age (in years) 24 26
International experience Yes (2016-2018) No
Leg spin bowling
Speed Slower Quicker
Approach Spin the ball Attack the stumps
Wickets in WBBL 2021 23 16
The economy rate in WBBL 6.56 5.24
Average in WBBL 16.26 18.25

 

Alana King is the latest entrant into the Australian squad. King, 26 is a right-arm leg spinner and more than a handy lower-order bat. She played her domestic cricket for Victoria between 2016 and 2020 and at present is a part of Western Australia.

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Apart from playing domestic cricket, she has been playing in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) since season one. Through the WBBL she has had the chance to play alongside some of the best in the business, which has only helped her to grow her game. She represented Melbourne Stars between 2015 and 2020 in the WBBL and last year featured for Perth Scorchers. In WBBL|07 which was played last year, she scalped 16 wickets in 14 innings. She was the fifth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. She bowled at an economy of under six and had a bowling average of 18.25. She played a pivotal role in her team’s effort to win the title. So far across the seven WBBL seasons, she has played 82 matches, picked up 70 wickets in 76 innings, and scored 325 runs in 46 innings.

With a lot of talent in her armoury and a good head over her shoulders, King is a big prospect in the Australian scheme of things. She will be looking to make the most of the upcoming Women’s Ashes because a solid performance there will strengthen her chances of making it to the Australian squad for the World Cup.

I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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