Cricket: Alana King primed for huge India tour, says Alyssa Healy

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Alana King has been backed to deliver on Australia’s approaching tour of India after a scintillating return to the side on Thursday.

Playing her first international game since the Ashes Test in June, the wrist spinner tore through the West Indies middle order to claim career-best ODI figures of 3-16 in the abandoned second match at the Junction Oval.

Captain Alyssa Healy said King, who was overlooked for 10 consecutive white-ball games but won her spot back after a hamstring injury to Darcie Brown, had taken her game to a new level ahead of December’s Indian tour.

“She would’ve been hard to leave out of the team today … just simply, I’ve seen her bowling in the nets all week and faced her in the nets as well,” Healy said after the game.

“Just her speed through the air at the moment and her control with her spin and her length has been impressive right throughout the week.

“It was actually really easy to throw her the ball as the first spinning option knowing that she was going to get the job done.”

Healy said the day-night Test, which has been slated for Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium but is yet to be confirmed, would be a huge opportunity for King, who would likely form part of a four-pronged spin group with Georgia Wareham, Ash Gardner and Jess Jonassen.

“It’s hard (for batters) because she challenges both edges of the bat,” Healy said.

“You’re kind of playing for that big, ripping leg spinner because she puts so much work on the ball, but the natural variation of one skidding on actually makes her more effective.

“I think all the spinners should be licking their lips with the opportunity to go to India and obviously play a Test match as well.

“I’m not sure what the conditions are going to be like, but I think we’re going to need all hands on deck in that regard to try and get a result to go our way.”

Left-armer Sophie Molineux, who has not played for Australia for two years but formed an integral part of the home World Cup-winning side, has been ruled out of a comeback on the tour after the Melbourne Renegades confirmed she would miss the WBBL season.

The 25-year-old is recovering from an ACL injury she suffered playing in the Melbourne derby last November.

Captain Meg Lanning could return to international cricket in time for the tour after an impressive start to her comeback from an extended health break over winter.

Lanning has made three half-centuries in four innings, including an unbeaten 73 off 71 balls as Victoria lost to Queensland in Brisbane on Thursday.

The Indian cricket board is yet to release the fixture for the December tour, but it is expected to feature a day-night Test followed by three ODIs and three T20s.

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