Australia will be without Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen for the all-format series against India, which starts next month, while top-order batter Georgia Redmayne and 19-year-old fast bowler Stella Campbell have earned their maiden call-ups in the 18-player squad.
Schutt, the leader of Australia's pace attack, asked not to be considered for the matches because of personal reasons, as has Tasmania pace bowler Belinda Vakarewa. Allrounder Jonassen, the No. 1 ODI bowler, has been diagnosed with a stress injury in her tibia. Her absence will leave the spin bowling in the hands of Sophie Molineux, Molly Strano, Georgia Wareham and Ashleigh Gardner. The uncapped Maitlan Brown, who was part of the squad against New Zealand last year, has returned after injury.
Australia are due to face India across three ODIs, a day-night Test at the WACA in Perth, and three T20Is. It has yet to be confirmed whether it will be played as a multi-format points series.
"We're fully supportive of the requests from Belinda and Megan to not be considered for selection and will continue to work with them to ensure they have the appropriate support," national selector Shawn Flegler said. "As leader of the bowling attack, Megan's absence will provide the opportunity for someone else to play the type of role she has so well over a lengthy period.
"Jess is another big loss and will be disappointed to miss out, but she's another one that's worked hard over the winter and with a long summer ahead, her focus will be to get herself right with a lot of cricket left in the season."
Redmayne, who has been playing for Welsh Fire in the women's Hundred, has been rewarded for her prolific WNCL form for Queensland last season, where she scored 531 runs at 132.75 with two centuries which backed up her being Brisbane Heat's leading run-scorer in the WBBL with 357 at 32.45.
Campbell, a tall pace bowler, plays for New South Wales and Sydney Sixers and joins the growing list of young quicks in the Australia set-up alongside Tayla Vlaeminck, Darcie Brown and Maitlan Brown. She only managed three wickets at 70.66 in last season's WNCL but was the Sixers' joint second-leading wicket-taker in the WBBL with ten scalps.
"Stella is yet another young fast bowler to have come through the pathway and adds another layer of depth to an emerging pace bowling group," Flegler said. "She's a tall, bouncy fast bowler who we feel could be a real option throughout the series, particularly with the conditions in Perth.
"Georgia's selection is recognition of the strong couple of domestic seasons she's produced, and it's been pleasing to see her really start to her expand game in recent times. She provides strong cover for the top-order and adds good variety as a left-hander, with her 'keeping ability a bonus as well."
Alongside Maitlan Brown, who damaged her hamstring during the WBBL last November which put her out for the rest of the season, allrounder Annabel Sutherland is another player back in the squad after injury. The uncapped Hannah Darlington is retained after having been part of squad in New Zealand.
"Having worked so hard to earn a call-up to the squad last summer, it's great to have Maitlan back after suffering a long-term injury at a really unfortunate time," Flegler said. "We love the way she swings the ball early and the variety she offers and feel she's someone that can be turned to in any format."
"Annabel was another one who missed the tour to New Zealand earlier this year, but she's worked hard over the winter and we expect her to play an important role this summer. Her batting in particular, will be important and having taken the opportunities that have come her way previously, we're looking forward to seeing what she can do this season."
Although the series is still scheduled to begin with the first ODI at North Sydney Oval on September 19, that is all-but certain to be changed given the ongoing lockdown in New South Wales which may also impact the three T20Is from October 7-11, which are due to held in Sydney. It is expected that the NSW-based players will leave the state to quarantine elsewhere before the series, something which may now also apply to those based in Victoria with Melbourne also in lockdown.
"Due to the current COVID challenges, Cricket Australia will continue to monitor the situation right across the country and will consider whether or not it needs to make any decisions regarding rescheduling or moving matches in due course," a statement said.
India are set to arrive at the end of the month and will undergo two weeks' quarantine on arrival. They had been due to have a warm-up match in Sydney ahead of the ODI series.
India Women in Australia
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo