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Lauren Cheatle, the leading wicket-taker in the Women’s Big Bash League, is aiming for her first appearance in the Australian Test team during their tour of India.

Left-handed fast bowler Lauren Cheatle is on the verge of making her debut in the Australian Test team, having been selected to tour India after a four-year break due to injuries that affected her international career.

Cheatle joined Australia’s team for the multi-format series in India, and was expected to stay with the squad for the upcoming Test match before heading back home.

The selectors of Australia made the decision on Tuesday to not appoint a captain to take over for Meg Lanning after she retired from international play last week. They plan to choose a full-time replacement before the upcoming tour.

Alyssa Healy is still the top choice to assume the position and is confident that she will recover from a dog bite in time to participate in the Test match on December 21st in Mumbai, followed by three ODIs and T20s.

Due to Lanning’s lack of participation in recent matches, there have been no major adjustments in the batting lineup. Phoebe Litchfield has taken her place in the top order, while all-rounder Heather Graham has been brought back into the team.

However, Cheatle, who became the youngest contracted player for New South Wales and made her Australian debut at the age of 17 in 2016, will receive a reward.

The individual, who is 25 years old, has experienced four distinct surgeries on their shoulder, struggled with a stress fracture in their back, and faced a diagnosis of skin cancer.

Her last appearance in international cricket was in 2019, as she has been plagued by a series of injuries since then.

Cheatle has made a comeback and regained her physical and athletic abilities in the last year, impressively capturing 11 wickets during the Australia A tour of England.

Last week, she stated that she is currently bowling better than ever and has taken 19 wickets at an average of 13.68, making her the joint top wicket-taker for the Sydney Sixers in the WBBL.

Cheatle stated that they feel more in sync and less prone to frequent breaks in their performance, rather than stopping and starting every few games.

“I believe that my recent performance has improved as I have found a better rhythm while bowling and I am not making careless mistakes like I have in the past. This improvement has come with experience, as I have been playing for 10 years and hope to continue for many more. I am excited to be on the field and fulfill my role to the best of my ability.”

Cheatle was chosen ahead of her housemate Hannah Darlington, who has also been able to perform at her best in the WBBL this season despite previous injuries.

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Australia’s abundance of spin bowlers has eliminated the need for additional players in the multi-format series. Regular squad members Ashleigh Gardner, Alana King, Jess Jonassen, and Georgia Wareham all bring their spin skills to the team.

“I believe we have already chosen a team that is suitable for the conditions in India,” stated coach Shelley Nitschke.

Australia will count on Gardner to deliver a strong performance with the bat against India.

Nitschke mentioned that they have a player similar to Ash Gardner, who can both spin and bat in the top-order. They typically include multiple spinners in their team.

The specifics of our arrival and the best choices for the game will depend on when we reach our destination.

The team selected by Australia for their series against India includes Darcie Brown, Lauren Cheatle (only for the Test match), Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris (only for white-ball matches), Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, and Georgia Wareham.

Source: theguardian.com