Megan Schutt of Australia is congratulated by team mates after getting a wicket during the ICC Women's T20 Cricket World Cup Final match between India and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 08, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.

Ellyse Perry in Australia's 18-member squad for New Zealand series

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Australia, the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020 champions, have named an 18-member squad for their ODIs and T20Is against New Zealand as they get ready to make their return to international cricket.

Ellyse Perry, who picked up a hamstring injury during the T20 World Cup, is in line for a return, but her inclusion is subject to fitness, Cricket Australia said in a release on Friday, 21 August. However, pace bowler Tayla Vlaeminck, who was also initially in their World Cup squad before a stress fracture to her foot ruled her out, is still unavailable for selection.

Erin Burns, who was carrying an injury during the World Cup, and Molly Strano, who came in to replace Vlaeminck, retain their places.

Maitlan Brown, 23, has got her maiden call-up. Along with Tahlia McGrath and Belinda Vakarewa, Brown offers the team some fresh pace-bowling options.

"While there’s a host of experienced players in the squad, we’ve kept a strong view on the future and it’s really exciting to see so many younger players putting their hands up for national selection," selector Shawn Flegler said. 

Flegler was upbeat about Perry's recovery. "Ellyse is progressing well from a significant hamstring injury and we want to give her every chance to be available for selection, so we’ll continue to monitor her progress over the coming weeks," he said.

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However, the team is keen not to rush Vlaeminck back, especially now that the 50-over World Cup has been postponed from February 2021 to the following year. The youngster was also ruled out of featuring in this year's Women's Big Bash League.

Team physiotherapist Kate Beerworth explained, "Tayla had a recurrence of right medial ankle pain three weeks ago as she was working through her rehab from the navicular stress fracture she sustained in February. Her recovery has been trending in right direction but it’s just not going to be soon enough for the demands on international cricket and a busy Big Bash schedule."

Australia are scheduled to play three ODIs, as part of the Rose Bowl series, and three T20Is against New Zealand in September.

Squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Belinda Vakarewa 

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