Opener Grace Harris has been added to Australia's squad for the beginning of the multi-format Women's Ashes, beginning today.
Australia vs England, 1st T20I
January 20, 7:10pm local
Match Centre | Watch on ICC.tv
Australia's home Ashes defence begins at the Adelaide Oval, taking on an England side led by Heather Knight.
Having held the series trophy in their grasp since 2015, Australia come into the series off the back of a multi-format series win over India back in October.
Three T20Is begin the contest, brought in front of the sole Test match to accommodate for teams' travel and quarantine in New Zealand for the Women's World Cup, beginning in early March.
After the fixture reconfiguration, Australia's preparations were hampered further when Beth Mooney broke her jaw, hit during a net session on Tuesday.
Harris has been added for the T20s to replace Mooney, whose status in the squad for the latter stages is still to be determined.
Don't miss a ball of the Women's Ashes, live and FREE on icc.tv. (in selected regions).
Harris has played 11 T20Is, last featuring in international cricket back in 2016, making 120 runs at a strike rate of 155.84 so far in the shortest format. The Queenslander impressed in Australia's training camp, making 55 from 37 balls for the 'A' side in a warm-up win against the first XI, with seven fours and a six.
National selector Shawn Flegler says Harris deserves the chance after the strong showing against a world-class bowling attack.
“Grace has a great skill set for the T20 format and has the ability to play multiple roles if required.”
“Whilst the injury to Beth is unfortunate it does provide an opportunity for someone else to step in to the squad.
England also defeated India in a multi-format series, before beating New Zealand in T20I and ODI series in their home summer.
They come to Australia as underdogs, though skipper Knight believes the schedule change helps the English start the series on the front foot.
"T20 cricket is one of our strongest formats, so I think that will suit us quite nicely.
"Think the last few series we've really looked to go hard in that first game, previously it's been a weakness of ours. There will obviously be nerves around, that's completely normal, but we are confident we can cope with that and punch first against Australia."
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