Southern Stars Confident Of Handling Sri Lankan Spin

September 01, 2016

Despite their male counterparts suffering a Test whitewash on Sri Lankan soil, Australia's female cricketers are confident they can turn the tide when they head next month to the sub-continent.

While the Australian men's team have traditionally struggled on spinning overseas pitches, the women have not had such problems, winning the one-day World Cup in 2013 in India.

They will embark on their first tour of Sri Lanka in September, comprising four one-day internationals and one Twenty20 match.

Skipper Meg Lanning was named on Wednesday to lead the side after missing the English T20 Super League competition last month with a tear in her right shoulder.

The team are training in Queensland's humidity on tailored wickets to prepare for the dusty decks.

"We've been doing that up in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast and we've got some wonderful facilities at the national cricket centre, specifically for practising against spin," vice-captain Alex Blackwell told reporters.

"We've also got some of the best spinners in the world in our team."

One of those tweakers is Jess Jonassen, who was picked following surgery on her left knee after the World T20 final loss in April to the West Indies.

While Sri Lanka are eighth in the world, they beat second-ranked England during the World Cup.

"They're a much-improved side, as shown in that upset," Blackwell said.

An Australia A-style "Shooting Stars" squad, including Grace Harris, Beth Mooney and Holly Ferling, toured Sri Lanka last year in preparation for this year's series.

"We believe this group contains a good mix of youth and experience that will give us the best chance of succeeding in Sri Lanka," selector Shawn Flegler said.

"We've got a number of options covered with our bowling attack as well as several batters who can produce the attacking game-style we want to play."

Australia will, however, be without pace bowler Sarah Coyte, who opted to knock back her national contract for 2016-17.

Coyte, who has taken 100 international wickets and was player of the match in the 2013 World T20 final, will play only domestic cricket this summer for personal reasons.

Teenage fast bowler Lauren Cheatle will also skip the tour to focus on her final year of schooling in NSW.


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