Australia name women's Test squad for historic South Africa meeting

A bowling all-rounder last seen in a national team back in 2021 headlines Australia's Test squad to take on South Africa at the WACA in Perth from February 15.

Sophie Molineux is back in the Australian squad for the first time in over three years after flourishing in domestic cricket and captaining the Australian Governor General's XI to a victory over the touring South Africans in a T20 in late January. 

Having made a successful recovery from an ACL injury that kept her sidelined for over a year, Molineux currently sits atop of the wicket-takers list in the Australian 50-over domestic competition, taking 17 wickets at an average of 14.47.

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Molineux's name is the only inclusion from the Test squad that travelled to India in late December. Lauren Cheatle has been forced to sit out after needing a skin cancer removed from her neck last month, with Heather Graham omitted from the group.

Head of Performance (Women’s Cricket) and National Selector Shawn Flegler says Molineux's re-call is a testament to her hard work, hitting the ground running after a horrid injury run.   

“Molineux has put in a huge amount of work off-field over the past 12 months and her performances in the WNCL and for the Governor-General’s XI since returning from an ACL injury have been impressive. 

“A multi-skilled cricketer with strong leadership qualities, Sophie has been highly rated by the National Selection Panel for a long period of time. 

“We’re extremely fortunate to have substantial spin-bowling depth within Australian cricket, so for Sophie to earn inclusion in the Test squad is fantastic reward for her perseverance."

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Molineux joins four other spinners as part of the group, with the likes of all-rounders Ash Gardner and Jess Jonassen, plus leg-spinners Alana King and Georgia Wareham also named.

The match is the first women's Test between the two nations, with South Africa last featuring in red ball cricket back in 2022 against England in Taunton which ended in a draw.

Six of the  Proteas' 14-member squad have earned their maiden call-up in the format.

More on South Africa's squad

Australia squad: Alyssa Healy, (C) Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

South Africa squad: Laura Wolvaardt, Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Nadine de Klerk, Mieke de Ridder, Ayanda Hlubi, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Masabata Klaas, Suné Luus, Eliz-Mari Marx, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Chloé Tryon, Delmi Tucker

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