Kim Garth still can't quite believe she is getting picked to play cricket for Australia, but she had better get used to it. Because after earning Player-of-the-Match and Player-of the-Series honours against West Indies she is now going to be very hard to leave out.
Garth, 27, was not selected in any of Australia's limited-overs internationals during the multi-format Ashes and did not play in the first two T20Is against West Indies when Hayley Matthews was running roughshod over Australia's bowlers. But her inclusion for the third match of the T20I series, with Australia under enormous pressure, and the subsequent ODI series proved a decisive move.
She took 2 for 24 in the T20I series decider and followed that up with figures of 3 for 8, 1 for 20 and 2 for 14 in the ODI series including dismissing Matthews for just 20 and 23, bowled and lbw respectively. No Australia bowler, no bowler in world cricket this year, has managed to contain Matthews, and yet it was Australia's newest fast bowler, a former Ireland international, who was able to do it.
"I'm very pleased," Garth said. "I think if you look at the results figures-wise, it probably suggests that I bowled best at the start of the series. But I actually don't feel that in terms of how I feel. I felt like I've improved throughout the series. In that first game I was probably bowling a little bit wider of the stumps and I felt as the series progressed, I got into a bit of rhythm and probably bowled my best today."
Garth still doesn't feel like she belongs in the Australian team. Having made the brave decision to give away her Ireland career in 2019 and try and qualify for Australia, after playing 37 ODIs and 51 T20Is for the country of her birth, she is still pinching herself that she has actually earned a place in the side.
But given the way she has bowled in this series, and performed in general every time she has played for Australia since her first appearance for her adopted country in December last year, it is hard to fathom how she has played so little.
She played three T20Is on her first tour for Australia against India last year and bowled more dot balls across those three games than any of her team-mates. She also had a better economy rate for the series than all of Australia's seam bowlers except for Ellyse Perry. However, she did not play a single game in Australia's T20 World Cup triumph in South Africa and was not selected in any of the T20s or ODIs in the Ashes, but she did play in the Test match, where she was one of Australia's most economical bowlers.
After spending a lot of time running the drinks and watching from the sidelines, this performance against Matthews and West Indies will likely prove to herself and to Australia's selectors that she deserves a permanent place in all three forms.
"It's definitely done a lot [for my confidence], I think," Garth said. "Since coming into the Australian team, it's been absolutely incredible, but as a result of that, I actually haven't played as much cricket as I suppose I have done over the past few years.
"Cricket is a funny game. It plays games with your head. So the more time you spend sitting on the sidelines thinking about it, the more you kind of talk yourself into things or out of things.
"Every time I pull on the Australian shirt, it's very exciting to be able to go out there and perform and hopefully justify my spot was really pleasing."