Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy spearhead Australia squad for women’s World Cup defence | Cricket News

SYDNEY: Australia on Tuesday named a powerhouse team to defend their Twenty20 Women’s World Cup title, led by Meg LanningEllyse Perry and a fitness Alyssa Healy.
The five-time champions are strong favorites for the tournament in South Africa next month with their ranks further bolstered by the return of Georgia Wareham after a lengthy injury-related layoff.
Wicketkeeper Healy struggled with a calf problem suffered in December in India but was also named in the 15-woman squad and is expected to play
Australia crushed India by 85 runs in front of over 86,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to win the T20 World Cup in 2020.
Lanning is leading the team again after ending an indefinite months-long hiatus late last month, dispelling fears that they may have played their last international game.
The record-breaking 30-year-old announced she was stepping down from the game in August to “focus on myself” after leading Australia to a rocky run of success.
“It’s always difficult to reduce a team to just 15 players, but we are confident that we have chosen a well-rounded team,” said national coach Shawn Flegler.
“Seeing Meg and Georgia back in action for Victoria has been exciting. Both bring a wealth of experience to the squad which is always crucial at major tournaments.
“Georgia in particular have had a tough string of injuries, but they’ve shown great resilience and their return is a real boost for the team.”
Australia will begin their World Cup defense on February 12 against New Zealand before pool matches against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and South Africa.
Australia will warm up with the T20 at home and a one-day series against Pakistan before heading to South Africa.
Australia team: Meg Lanning (captain), Alyssa Healy, Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham


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