Nicole Bolton has played only two T20I games so far. © Getty
Nicole Bolton has been named in a 15-member Australia squad for the Women's World T20 next month. The opener, who is considered an a One-Day specialist, made the final cut and is one of the two inclusions to the squad that played New Zealand recently.
Jess Jonassen, the all-rounder, has also been added to the traveling party but her availability is subjected to a fitness test.
The selectors also named the same group of players for the Pakistan series scheduled later this month. Australia will play three ODIs and three T20Is against the Asian side in Malaysia before heading to the Caribbean for the World T20.
Bolton has played only two T20Is for Australia though her ODI average is 46.22. She last played the shortest format in 2016. Her performances in last year's Women's Big Bash League, where she finished third on the runs table with 482 at 32.13, and impressive performances in England's T20 competition earned her a ticket to the main event.
Jonassen, on the other hand, underwent a knee surgery last month and is on the path to recovery. She will travel with the squad to Malaysia and work on her fitness but won't take part in the series.
"There's only two players that come into the ODI and T20 sides that didn't take part in the recent series against New Zealand, which is really pleasing as it means we have a stable playing group who are gelling really well," National Selector Shawn Flegler said on Tuesday (October 9).
"Nicole's generally been considered a 50-over player but she's put in a lot of work to improve her short-form game and its evident in her recent T20 form. Jess is recovering well from her knee injury and will join the squad in Malaysia, with the aim to have her playing in the two warm-up matches in the West Indies."
The focus will be on the Pakistan series first, where Australia have a chance to go top in the ICC Women's Championship points table - which determine the four nations that'll directly qualify for the next 50-over World Cup in 2021. A series win should help them get there.
The last time Australia played an ODI series was against India in March and there are not many changes from that squad to the one announced. Jonassen is one of the absentees, while leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington and pacer Belinda Vakarewa also miss out.
Georgia Wareham, who played all three T20Is against New Zealand, is in-line for a debut alongside pacer Tayla Vlaeminck. All-rounder Delissa Kimmince might play her first ODI since 2014.
"The three ODIs are crucial in making sure we stay at the top of the ICC Women's Championship table with an eye on the next 50-over World Cup, and a successful series will give the group great confidence heading to the West Indies," Flegler said.
"This is an exciting group of players who've played some very good cricket in the T20 format in particular, over the last six months, and with injection of some youth we believe this group has the right attributes to have a successful World Cup."
World T20 squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen (subject to fitness), Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
ODI squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham.