ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022
Kiwi thrashing a 'kick up the backside' for Australia
Australia's coach reacts to his side's thumping defeat to New Zealand just days out from their ODI World Cup opener against New Zealand
Laura Jolly in Christchurch
2 March 2022, 11:46 AM AEST
Matthew Mott has described Australia's thrashing at the hands of New Zealand as a timely 'kick up the backside' ahead of Saturday's World Cup opener against England in Hamilton.
Sophie Devine led New Zealand to a nine-wicket win with an unbeaten 161 in the practice game in Christchurch on Tuesday and while Mott was not reading too much into the defeat, he said the result would ensure there was no risk of complacency for the tournament favourites.
"Whether we won or lost yesterday … it doesn't count for a lot," Mott told reporters on Wednesday.
"As a bowling group, I think we got some great lessons yesterday, and it does show just how dangerous some teams can be.
"That was sensational batting (from New Zealand) … on a whole, we reflected after the game and we're pretty happy with where we're at.
"We didn't really show our hand in terms of match-ups, and some of the things that we will have planned when we play New Zealand next time.
"I'm not going to hide behind the fact we don't like losing. No one likes losing. But if you're going to lose, that's the match to lose and learn some lessons before we start the ones that count for points."
Australia arrived in New Zealand fresh off an unbeaten Ashes campaign against England, which included a 3-0 win in the one-day leg.
But Mott insisted that would count for nothing on Saturday at Seddon Park.
"England have shown over a long period of time is that they love tournament play, they turn up at the right times and that's why they're the world champions at the moment," he said.
"I would take it with a grain of salt, that Ashes series, in terms of tournament play, and we'll have to be at our best to get over them.
"Yesterday was probably the perfect tonic for us - if anyone was feeling like we're going pretty well, it was a little kick in the backside at the right time to just (remind us) that any team in this tournament on their day have got players that can stand up and hurt you."
Australia used nine bowlers in each of the two practice matches, with key quicks Ellyse Perry (seven overs across the two games) and Darcie Brown (10 overs) used sparingly.
Mott described the warm-up games, which came after the Australians squad spent a week in hard hotel quarantine, as a potentially "dangerous period" on an injury front, but confirmed his attack had made it through unscathed.
Perry left the field with a sore foot after sending down three overs in the first hit out against West Indies and while she did not bat against New Zealand, she did bowl four overs, with Mott explaining a call had been made to give others a chance in the middle.
"We've deliberately gone in low key into this tournament – we had a big Ashes series, then quarantine and we gave the players a chance to freshen up," Mott said.
"I think that's going to just get us cherry ripe for March 5 and be able to hold that throughout the tournament.
"The one thing we're were mindful of was going too hard and picking up some injuries. We want to make sure that we're starting to play our best cricket now.
"I was ecstatic that everyone got a good hit (in the warm-up games).
"The players feel fresh, that's been the feedback so far that they feel really good and ready to go."
ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington. Travelling reserves: Heather Graham, Georgia Redmayne
Australia's World Cup 2022 fixtures
Mar 30: Basin Reserve, Wellington, 8am AEDT
Mar 31: Hagley Park Christchurch, 12pm AEDT
Apr 3: Hagley Park Christchurch, 11am AEDT
All matches to be broadcast in Australia on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports