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Emily Arlott earns maiden England call-up for India Test

Tash Farrant, Sophia Dunkley also called up as Nat Sciver is named vice-captain across all formats

Valkerie Baynes
Valkerie Baynes
Emily Arlott took a hat-trick for Central Sparks against Southern Vipers  •  Laura Malkin/Laura Malkin

Emily Arlott took a hat-trick for Central Sparks against Southern Vipers  •  Laura Malkin/Laura Malkin

Emily Arlott has earned a maiden call-up to the England Women's squad ahead of their Test against India after taking a hat-trick in domestic cricket last weekend.
She joins fellow seamer Tash Farrant, who has also enjoyed a strong start to the domestic season, in an extended 17-player squad which is expected to be trimmed before the Test starts in Bristol on June 16. Also untried in the format and called into England's squad announced on Wednesday are Sophia Dunkley, Sarah Glenn, Mady Villiers and Freya Davies.
Arlott, 23, produced a four-wicket over and finished with 5 for 29 for Central Sparks in a 120-run victory over reigning Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy champions Southern Vipers on Saturday.
Lisa Keightley, England Women's Head Coach, was at Hove to witness her performance but Arlott was already on the radar, having also caught the attention of Heather Knight, the England captain, when her Western Storm side faced Sparks the previous week.
"I was loving yesterday, Issy Wong and Emily Arlott - two good, young fast bowlers - coming in and bowling quick on a pitch with pace and carrying a bit in it at Edgbaston," Knight said last week. "It's brilliant and I'm pleased to see the England girls go well and some of the domestic players really pushing as well."
Dunkley's call-up caps a successful week for her after she was awarded a central contract for 2021-22. Dunkley broke back into the England set-up during the five-match T20I series against West Indies last summer after an absence of 18 months and has started the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy strongly with scores of 104 not out, 0 and 92.
Farrant returned to the England fold when she was recalled for the tour of New Zealand in February and March after being omitted from the central contracts list in early 2019.
At the other end of the Test experience spectrum, Georgia Elwiss is in contention to play her fourth Test match almost two years since her last England appearance, having missed last summer because of injury. Lauren Winfield-Hill could also play the fourth Test of her career and her first since the 2017 Ashes in Australia.
England confirmed that Nat Sciver would become team vice-captain across all formats, having stepped in on the winter tour of New Zealand for Anya Shrubsole, who was injured at the time but has returned to the England squad for the India Test.
Keightley said: "It's been hard to pick a squad given the balance of needing cover in a COVID world while wanting to give players as much chance as possible to play cricket.
"We want players to have opportunities out in the middle so we're looking to reduce our numbers slightly ahead of the Test to give the non-selected players that chance.
"India are a strong side and it's the beginning of a two-year journey for us that takes in two ICC World Cups, an Ashes and the Commonwealth Games."
While 10 of India's 18-member touring party are yet to play a Test, 11 players in the England squad have Test-match experience.

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo