Australia will be without two of their premier bowlers - Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen - during the multi-format series against India, starting September 19. Meanwhile, top-order batter Georgia Redmayne and 19-year-old fast bowler Stella Campbell have been handed their maiden international call-ups. Australia and India are scheduled to play three ODIs, one day-night Test and three T20Is.
The top-ranked ODI bowler Jonassen has been ruled out due to a stress reaction in her lower leg, while Schutt was not available for selection due to personal reasons, and so was Belinda Vakarewa. In the absence of left-arm spinner Jonassen, Australia have added uncapped Maitlan Brown into the squad. The 24-year-old pacer was part of the squad against New Zealand last year. In Sophie Molineux, Molly Strano, Georgia Wareham and Ashleigh Gardner, the hosts still have four quality spinners.
Squad: Meg Lanning, Rachael Haynes, 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.
"We're fully supportive of the requests from Belinda and Megan to not be considered for selection and will continue to work with them to ensure they have the appropriate support," National Selector Shawn Flegler said.
"As leader of the bowling attack, Megan's absence will provide the opportunity for someone else to play the type of role she has so well over a lengthy period. Jess is another big loss and will be disappointed to miss out, but she's another one that's worked hard over the winter and with a long summer ahead, her focus will be to get herself right with a lot of cricket left in the season."
Redmayne, who is currently in England playing for Welsh Fire in the women's Hundred, was superb in the last season of the Women's National Cricket League. The left-handed Queensland batter slammed 531 runs in eight innings at 132.75 and then also smashed 357 runs at 32.45 for Brisbane Heat in the Women's Big Bash League. Meanwhile, Campbell was Sydney Sixers' joint second-leading wicket-taker (10 wickets) in the last season of the WBBL.
"Stella is yet another young fast bowler to have come through the pathway and adds another layer of depth to an emerging pace bowling group. She's a tall, bouncy fast bowler who we feel could be a real option throughout the series, particularly with the conditions in Perth.
"Georgia's selection is recognition of the strong couple of domestic seasons she's produced, and it's been pleasing to see her really start to her expand game in recent times. She provides strong cover for the top-order and adds good variety as a left-hander, with her 'keeping ability a bonus as well."
Apart from Brown, Annabel Sutherland too makes a comeback from an injury. "Having worked so hard to earn a call-up to the squad last summer, it's great to have Maitlan back after suffering a long-term injury at a really unfortunate time. We love the way she swings the ball early and the variety she offers and feels she's someone that can be turned to in any format.
"Annabel was another one who missed the tour to New Zealand earlier this year, but she's worked hard over the winter and we expect her to play an important role this summer. Her batting in particular, will be important and having taken the opportunities that have come her way previously, we're looking forward to seeing what she can do this season."
The first ODI will be played at North Sydney Oval on September 19 but the venue might be changed because of the ongoing lockdown in New South Wales. India will arrive in Australia by the end of this month and will undergo two weeks' quarantine.
"Due to the current COVID challenges, Cricket Australia will continue to monitor the situation right across the country and will consider whether or not it needs to make any decisions regarding rescheduling or moving matches in due course," a statement said.