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News

Australia call-up Grace Harris after Beth Mooney's injury

Call-up for the Brisbane Heat allrounder backs up selectors' talk of specialist T20 players

AAP
20-Jan-2022
Grace Harris led Brisbane Heat's chase, Hobart Hurricanes vs Brisbane Heat, WBBL, Hobart, October 26, 2021

Grace Harris has regularly shown her power in the WBBL  •  Getty Images

Grace Harris will replace injured batter Beth Mooney, called into Australia's Ashes squad hours out from the series opener in Adelaide.
Harris was confirmed as Mooney's replacement on Thursday, added ahead of Elyse Villani and Georgia Redmayne for the T20 matches.
Her call up is a further sign Australia will opt for a specialist opener alongside Alyssa Healy, after Mooney was struck in the jaw at training earlier this week.
The world's top-ranked T20 batter has since undergone surgery, with Australian officials unsure how long she will be out. Rachael Haynes had loomed as a likely option to replace Mooney, but selectors have indicated they want her to play in the middle order.
If Harris does open in Thursday night's T20, it will likely create a middle-order squeeze and result in superstar allrounder Ellyse Perry being left out.
Haynes did not play in the most recent India series, but is a certainty to return against England at No.4 or No.5.
Tahlia McGrath also stepped up in her absence, leaving Perry as the likely odd one out. Perry would likely still be in Australia's best team for the Test and one-day components of the series.
Meanwhile the hard-hitting Harris last played for Australia in 2016, and has since developed a cult-hero status at the Brisbane Heat. She made 50 and 15 in a warm-up match for Australia A against Australia earlier this week, convincing selectors she was the woman for the job.
"Whilst the injury to Beth is unfortunate it does provide an opportunity for someone else to step in to the squad," chief selector Shawn Flegler said. "Grace has a great skill set for the T20 format and has the ability to play multiple roles if required."