Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2013/1/22/southern-stars

Versatility the key for Stars

UPDATED 22 January, 2013 11:18AM AEST | by Mel Jones 1

While the ‘rotation’ debate rages in the men’s game, in women’s cricket it’s been used for years to create some very versatile and exciting cricketers. The difference with ‘rotation’ in the women’s domestic cricket is it's about formats not player management.

For the last four seasons the women have played across home-and-away weekends comprising typically of teams playing two WT20 matches either side of a WNCL 50-over fixture, Friday through to Sunday.

The selected sides do not follow the trend in men’s cricket of two vastly different squad selections, rather a squad of 12-13 players who have trained and are expected to make the adjustment between the games quickly and seamlessly overnight.

The byproduct of the domestic competition is that Australian players can shift between the two formats and the coming weeks will highlight just how players and coaches can manage this and still produce high quality cricket games.

The New Zealand White Ferns have arrived back in Australia this week to take on the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars at the Junction Oval in three WT20 INTL matches.

The series will provide vital international experience ahead of the ICC Women’s World Cup.

The Rose Bowl Series (50-overs) in Sydney in December was one of the most hotly contested series the two teams have played in years and this series has all the ingredient for being just as tight.

The New Zealander's have had more success against Australia in the T20 format of late and are full of confidence with their top players in great form and a sense of new found belief against the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars.

Suzie Bates, the White Ferns captain, will be a key player this week.

She was headhunted for the Western Australia Fury this summer by former Australian coach Steve Jenkin, who is now head coach of the Fury.

The all-rounder played a pivotal role in securing Western Australia’s place in the WT20 finals for the first time in 13 years.

She will be joined by Amy Satterthwaite who is in career best form with the bat.

The lanky left-hander dominated the recent Rose Bowl Series and will be well supported by the return of Sophie Devine, one of the world’s best all-rounders.

Devine is one of New Zealand’s match winners and having missed recent international matches through injury, she will be keen to get back into the swing of international cricket.

The Australian domestic summer has produced numerous records with bat and ball and uncovered some new young talent.

With Meg Lanning hitting ODI hundreds at a rate that most would only dream of in a T20, the Junction Oval could well be in for some fireworks.

As dynamic and explosive as Lanning is at the top order, the middle has the leadership duo of captain Jodie Fields and vice-captain Alex Blackwell with consistency, calmness and focus.

Both have had outstanding seasons with the bat and in the heat of the battle have produced match-winning innings.

The next generation is also making waves. South Australian Scorpion Megan Schutt and Holly Ferling from the Queensland Fire are two quicks who will find themselves on a steep learning curve in the coming weeks.

Opening bowlers Ellyse Perry and Julie Hunter are both returning from injury so the inexperienced but talented youngsters will have their fair share of overs to impress.

The T20 focus will sharpen up the players’ skills, give high intensity match play and provide some bragging rights leading into the ICC Women’s World Cup, with both teams set to face each other in Pool B on February 5.

You can catch the World Champion Commonwealth bank Southern Stars via the live stream at cricket.com.au or head down to Junction Oval to see all the action live.

WT20 INTL Fixture

Date
Opposition Venue Start Time
Tuesday 22 January 2013
v New Zealand White Ferns
Junction Oval
10:00am
Tuesday 22 January 2013
v New Zealand White Ferns
Junction Oval
2:15pm
Thursday 24 January 2013
v New Zealand White Ferns
Junction Oval
9:30am




The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 22 January, 2013 9:02AM AEST

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