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No. 1 spot on offer in Women's Ashes

Rivals jostling for top position in the coming multi-format Ashes series

Ashes glory is not the only thing on the line when Australia hosts England in the series opener in Brisbane on Sunday, with both teams jostling for the title of world No.1.

The hosts are claiming underdog status after England's World Cup win earlier this year and subsequent rise to the top of the ICC rankings.

But victories in at least two of the first three one-day internationals – the first phase of a three-part, multi-format Commonwealth Bank Ashes series – will see Australia regain their place on top of the pile.

Australia were shocked by India in July's World Cup semi-final and enter the summer's Ashes series without the world's best batter and captain Meg Lanning, who is sidelined because of a shoulder injury.

The tourists hope they can add to that pain with wins in the 50-over format to kick ahead in the rankings and set up an Ashes series victory.

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"We're in a good place after the World Cup, but we want to keep moving forward," England captain Heather Knight said.

"We know we are going to have to play extremely well to win over here.

"There are a number of match-winners on either side and it will be a close contest."

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The multi-format series involves three ODIs, the first at a sold-out Allan Border Field on Sunday, and final two in Coffs Harbour.

They are followed by a day-night Test match at North Sydney Oval and three Twenty20 internationals.

The women's Ashes winner is decided on a points system, with four points awarded for a Test win and two for a draw, and two points for victories in one-day and Twenty20 clashes.

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Promoted to captain in the absence of Lanning, Rachael Haynes said it would take something special to back up their 2015 Ashes triumph in England.

"To have the top-two ranked teams come together and play in a series like this is going to make a great spectacle," she said.

Australia is likely to wait until Sunday morning to settle on their final side after enduring a frustrating week of wet weather in Brisbane.

"It is going to be a really tough team to pick, so we would much rather be in that position than sort of wonder who is going to do what," Haynes said.


Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes

Australia squad (ODI and Test): Rachael Haynes (C), Alex Blackwell (VC), Kristen Beams, Nicole Bolton, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa (Test only), Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington.

England squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Nat Sciver, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt.


Schedule



First ODI Allan Border Field, October 22

Brisbane Charity Partner: Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust

Second ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 26

Third ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 29

Coffs Junior Cricket Association Partners: Coffs Harbour District JCA, Nambucca Bellingen JCA, and Clarence River JCA

Day-Night Test North Sydney Oval, November 9-12

First T20 North Sydney Oval, November 17

North Sydney Charity Partner: McGrath Foundation

Second T20 Manuka Oval, November 19

Third T20 Manuka Oval, November 21

Canberra Charity Partner: Lord's Taverners ACT