Bolton and Mooney expected to reunite

Nicole Bolton is set to be reunited with opening batting partner Beth Mooney for the day-night women's Ashes Test after the latter's bruising century in Canberra last week gave selectors little choice but to draft her back into the team.

Mooney was dropped for last month's three one-dayers against England, selectors opting instead to promote wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy to open with Bolton, but coaching staff have since indicated the glovewoman will be dropping back down the order for the pink-ball Test at North Sydney Oval.

That opens the door for Mooney to make her Test debut following her unbeaten 118 against an ACT Invitational XI at Manuka Oval last week.

And Bolton, who was recently named captain of the Governor General's XI to play England in a T20 tour match later this month, is eager to welcome her back into the frame.

"I said something funny to her, [that] we're a bit like Matty Hayden, Justin Langer. She's the brute from Queensland, left-hander, and I'm the little Justin Langer from WA," Bolton said.

"What we do so well is we play to different areas. Although we're both left-handers, our strengths are really different and I really think as a bowling attack we can be quite difficult to nut down a solid plan to.

"When one player's going, the other one just plays a support role and I think it worked really nicely over in the World Cup.

"She batted beautifully [in Canberra]. Beth's been unlucky to miss out on the one-dayers, she's been in form and for her to go out and score a hundred and really stake her claim for that opening spot, the group was really excited for her."

The hard-hitting Queenslander partnered Bolton throughout the Women's World Cup earlier this year, scoring 232 runs, but was squeezed out for the one-day component of the Ashes.

Her form in a handful of practice matches has remained strong, and her inclusion at the top would give Australia their strongest possible batting configuration for the Test.

Ellyse Perry will likely bat at three, with captain Rachael Haynes, Elyse Villani and Alex Blackwell to follow. Healy at No.7 stiffens up the lower middle order, and also offers plenty of potential runs.

The make-up of Australia's bowling attack is still up in the air, although it won't include Kristen Beams or Belinda Vakarewa, who were culled from the squad on Tuesday.

Megan Schutt will definitely take her place after superb form in the one-dayers and in Canberra last week.

Jess Jonassen will be hard to dislodge as the primary spin bowler, while Lauren Cheatle and Tahlia McGrath will likely fight it out for the last pace bowling spot.

Spinners Ashleigh Gardner and Amanda-Jade Wellington are also in the frame, with the former more likely to be favoured given her potency with the bat.

The historic clash, beginning on Thursday at North Sydney Oval, marks the first day-night Ashes Test and the first women's Test match with a pink ball.

England must avoid defeat to keep their Ashes hopes alive.

"They're such a good side and with them winning the last one-dayer, it really puts a lot on the line in this Test match," Bolton said.

"Both teams play a really hard brand of cricket. They had a decent hitout at Blacktown over the weekend as well. We're going to face a really confident side and we're looking forward to the challenge.

"Two years ago when we played in the Test match in England, we had similar [results], I think it was two-one after the one-dayers and we were looking at that Test match to really stamp our authority. Both teams will be playing a pretty aggressive brand to try and get the result."

This story Bolton and Mooney expected to reunite first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.