Alyssa Healy named Aus captain for India tour

With Meg Lanning still unavailable, Cricket Australia on Tuesday named seasoned wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy captain of a 15-member Australian women’s team for the upcoming five-match T20 series against India.Star all-rounder Tahlia McGrath has been named vice-captain for the series, matches of which will be played at Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium and Brabourne Stadium.The series will be held from December 9 to 20. The first two matches will be held at DY Patil Stadium and the remaining three at Brabourne. Healy takes charge of a squad featuring three changes including a highly talented teenager and an ex-Irish international.The 19-year-old Phoebe Litchfield, ex-Ireland quick Kim Garth and all-rounder Heather Graham are in line to make their T20I debuts after being named in the squad.The tour assumes significance as it serves as preparation for the T20 World Cup next February in South Africa.Australia have made three changes to the group that won the Commonwealth Games gold in August.Australia’s head of performance (women’s cricket) and national selector, Shawn Flegler said: ”These five matches form an important part of the team’s preparations for the upcoming T20 World Cup in South Africa as well as providing an opportunity for some players to gain some experience in Indian conditions.”

”India will be a good test; they’re a strong side and the two teams have had some good battles in recent times. ”Without Meg and Rachael, this series will provide opportunities for players particularly in the top order, so we’re looking forward to seeing who puts their hand up.” Healy’s elevation comes after she was appointed vice-captain following Rachael Haynes’ retirement from international cricket in September.Australia will leave for India on December 4.Talking about Alyssa, the selector said: ”Alyssa will get the chance to lead the side in Meg’s absence which is exciting, and Tahlia will no doubt take plenty from being her deputy. ”She’s worked hard on developing that side of her game and thoroughly deserves the opportunity.”Squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Tahlia McGrath, Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt and Annabel Sutherland.