Battle on for spinner spots in Australia-Proteas series

Three top-line spinners are battling for spots in Australia’s dominant women’s ODI team, and Alana King says the “healthy competition” is bringing the best out of the trio.

Ahead of Australia’s second ODI against South Africa at North Sydney Oval on Wednesday, King said there was room for both herself and fellow legspinner Georgia Wareham in the side.

Another selection possibility is left-arm orthodox spinner Jess Jonassen, who was not picked for any of the three T20s or the first ODI against the Proteas.

King, who only joined the squad for the ODI portion of the multi-format series, said the battle for the spin positions was representative of Australia’s depth across the board.

“We’re very blessed in Australian cricket, and it brings the best out of us when there’s competition,” she said.

“We want to be performing at our best and playing our best cricket all the time.

“We know if we do get left out of a squad or a team, some of your teammates are there to pick up the slack and go out and play their role.

“We love the rivalry within the team, but it actually brings out the best of us and we all love playing with each other.”

King took a team-best 3-19 as Australia rolled South Africa for just 105 in the first ODI.

Wareham took 0-23 off her six overs.

Jonassen hasn’t played an ODI since July 2023, missing the team’s past seven outings, with the legspinners preferred.

King says there is enough variation between hers and Wareham’s bowling to justify selecting both players.

“Yes, we both bowl legspin, but we’re quite different in the way we bowl and we challenge batters differently,” King said.

“(Wareham) is a great asset to our squad.

“We fit really well into the 11, and hopefully there’s many more games we’re playing together.”

After Wednesday’s clash, Australia and South Africa close their ODI series with another game at North Sydney Oval on Saturday.

The teams then head to Perth, where they will clash in a Test at the WACA Ground starting on February 15.


Alex Mitchell
(Australian Associated Press)

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