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Women's World Cup preview: New Zealand

Australia's rivals from across the ditch loom as serious contenders for the top prize

The squad: Suzie Bates (c), Erin Bermingham, Sophie Devine, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Thamsyn Newton, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu.

Fixtures: June 24 v Sri Lanka, June 28 v South Africa, July 2 v Australia, July 6 v West Indies, July 8 v Pakistan, July 12 v England, July 15 v India


Best result: Champions (2000)


ICC ranking: 3rd

The talking point: The White Ferns have one BIG in for this tournament, in the form of allrounder Sophie Devine. Few others in this tournament are able to clear the boundary as easily and as regularly as Devine, who demonstrated exactly how damaging she can be when she blasted a century for Adelaide Strikers in the Women’s Big Bash League last December. Devine missed the series against Australia earlier this year with a broken thumb, but she’s back and fit for the Kiwis’ campaign.

The star: Amy Satterthwaite has been in simply ridiculous form in the one-day game throughout the past six months. The allrounder’s impact has largely come with the bat – she scored four consecutive centuries last summer to equal the record held by Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara. Her consistency has been the lynchpin of the New Zealand batting order, while her off-spin provides a handy option for skipper Suzie Bates.  

The one to watch: Leg-spinner Amelia Kerr might be only 16 – yes, she was born in the year 2000 and she’s missing high school to play in the World Cup – but she has made a big impact in international cricket in a short time. The Wellington product made her White Ferns debut last November and in seven matches has claimed 10 wickets. Notably, she caused all sorts of problems for Australia when the teams met in Mt Maunganui in March, taking 4-54 including the wickets of Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Elyse Villani and Alyssa Healy.

The verdict: It’s difficult to separate the top three ranked teams in this tournament and New Zealand boast some of the strongest talent in all the squads. Led by Bates – last year’s ICC ODI player of the year – alongside Devine and Satterthwaite, the White Ferns also lay claim to an in-form pace attack with new-ball pair Lea Tahuhu and Holly Huddleston well suited to the conditions. Seven of their 15 squad members spent time in county cricket in the lead up to the tournament, so they will be very well adjusted to boot. They’ll be extremely disappointed if they don’t at least make the semi-finals and they have every reason to believe they can take out the title.


Women's World Cup 2017 Guide


Australia World Cup squad: Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell (vc), Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington

Squads: Every World Cup squad named so far

Australia's World Cup schedule


View the full tournament schedule here


Warm-up matches


June 20: Australia v South Africa, Oakham


June 22: Australia v Pakistan, Leicester


Tournament


June 26: Australia v West Indies, Taunton


June 29: Sri Lanka v Australia, Bristol


July 2: Australia v New Zealand, Bristol


July 5: Pakistan v Australia, Leicester


July 9: England vAustralia, Bristol


July 12: Australia v India, Bristol


July 15: South Africa v Australia, Taunton


July 18: First semi-final, Bristol


July 20: Second semi-final, Derby


July 23: Final, Lord's


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