Captain Suzie Bates is in red-hot form after producing knocks of 67, 48, 11 and 35 at the ICC World T20 earlier this month, while also passing 3000 T20I career runs.
“Suzie just batted the house down last year for us and she certainly is bringing form in after the World Cup,” said head coach Andrea McCauley.
“She is such a quality player and really considered one of the best cricketers in the world, so I’m sure she will be a consistent performer for us again this year.”
Megan Schutt will re-join the squad following a successful World T20 campaign in the West Indies with the Australian Women’s Cricket Team, where she took 10 wickets from six matches, with best figures of 3/12.
Danielle Hazell is unavailable for selection due to England Cricket Board regulations, which stipulate that players must have seven days' rest after an international tour.
McCauley remains confident in the team’s bowling depth however.
“We have assembled a strong and experienced bowling lineup, so I feel like we are ready for the contest,” McCauley said.
“Obviously the first game there will be nerves and excitement, but it will be great to get out there and have a run around.”
McCauley is delighted to have Sarah Coyte don the blue again after a phenomenal performance with the Sydney Sixers at the back end of WBBL|03, where she took 10 wickets from four matches.
“Coytie is obviously a very talented player and we’re very excited to get her back in the group," McCauley said.
"We haven’t had a great record against the Heat in the past but there’s no reason that has to dictate anything moving forward.”
The Strikers coaching team remains unchanged from last season, with McCauley again joined by Luke Williams, Charlotte Edwards and Shelley Nitschke.
The Strikers take on the Brisbane Heat on Sunday 2 December at CitiPower Centre in Melbourne from 10:10am ACDT. The match will be broadcast live and free on 7 Mate.
13-player travelling squad
Suzie Bates (c)