A head scratching non-selection for Australia came before an early batting collapse in the Ashes test in Canberra
Superstar Aussie quick Megan Schutt was overlooked for selection in the women’s Ashes Test, even though Australia’s bowling stocks have been severely depleted by injury.
The non-selection of the World Cup winner came as Australia was rocked early after being sent in to bat by England in Canberra, losing two wickets inside the opening four overs.
Star opener Alyssa Healy was out for a duck, while Beth Mooney, playing 10 days after surgery to repair a broken jaw, was gone for three after being called in to bat when Healy was dismissed.
Without Tayla Vlaeminck, Sophie Molineux and Georgia Wareham, Australia had been forced to call replacement bowlers into the squad for the Test at Manuka Oval so Schutt’s experience was tipped to be vital.
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However, the 29-year-old missed out on playing in the fifth Test of her career, with Darcie Brown, Ellyse Perry, Tahlia McGrath and Annabel Sutherland set to share pace-bowling duties.
Sources within the team explained that because Schutt had recently recovered from Covid-19 she had yet to return to peak physical condition.
Selectors were also reluctant to risk burning her out ahead of the women’s World Cup – on Wednesday, Schutt was selected in Australia’s squad for the World Cup, which begins in New Zealand in March.
As expected, Beth Mooney was named in Australia’s XI despite breaking her jaw at training earlier this month.
She came in at first drop after Australia lost Alyssa Healy without scoring in the third over, only to be dismissed herself just minutes later – the victim of an absolute peach from Katherine Brunt, which was caught behind by Amy Jones.
Latecomers were still finding their seats in the nation’s capital and Australia had already wobbled its way to figures of 2-4.
The stage was set for Ellyse Perry, dropped for the Ashes T20s, to be the hero on her return to national colours.