Australia coach Matthew Mott has called on his Ashes squad to make a “statement of intent” when they take the field for their final two warm-up matches next week.
The 14-player ODI squad will meet a Queensland XI in two 50-over practice matches in Brisbane, where they’ll have the advantage of adjusting to Allan Border Field – which will host the opening match of the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes on October 22 - while England complete their own warm-ups at a nearby school.
The Australians will gather in Brisbane today ahead of the first warm-up on Monday.
With spots in Australia’s XI for that opening ODI up for grabs, there will be plenty on the line against the Queensland XI.
“We want to make a bit of a statement of intent,” Mott said. “The players have committed to being more aggressive in all facets of the game.
“The batting as been solid and dependable, but it’s well known in our squad that we feel we’ve got another gear to go to there.
“I think these warm-ups will be an ideal opportunity for us to show that.
“I want to see everyone to have an opportunity and put their best food forward.”
Earlier this week, Australia wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy fired the opening salvo ahead of the upcoming Ashes, declaring she would "bring the bitch back" behind the stumps this summer.
It’s an approach Mott is backing, saying it’s crucial his team retains the ‘aura’ of an Australian team.
“Each individual goes about it their own way and one thing we’ve been strong on is everyone being the bringing the best version of themselves to the game.
“Generally across the board, we feel we have probably been a bit too nice of late and we don’t want that aura of Australia to go missing.
“Australia in all sports is renowned for being aggressive and combative, so we don’t want to lose sight of that, within the spirit of the game.
“As a group, I do think we need to bring back a little bit of presence and whether that’s with strong body language or intent, it’s an area we’ve identified we can certainly improve on.”
The Australian squad members made a strong start to the summer in the opening round of the Women’s National Cricket League last weekend, with four players scoring centuries.
And no one impressed Mott more than acting Ashes captain Rachael Haynes, who scored an unbeaten 103 from 93 deliveries for New South Wales before following up with 83 two days later.
“What a great statement from Rachael Haynes,” Mott said. “The newly named Australian captain, you don’t get a perspective on how much goes into the captaincy until you’re put in that spot.
“All the extra press, the meetings, the managing, so for her to go out and have two good hit outs was a big statement for our group and the manner in which she did it was exceptional.”
Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes
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
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