CommBank ODI Series v NZ
Kiwi challenge excites Australia duo
A busy summer of women's cricket is coming to an end, but not until a three-game ODI series against New Zealand later this month
14 February 2019, 05:44 PM AEST
Australia are entering the final stages of what's been their busiest ever summer, but star duo Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning insist there's no risk of fatigue dampening their enthusiasm for the upcoming one-day series against New Zealand.
For Lanning's team, the ‘summer' started in late September with the opening round of the domestic one-day competition and a three-match T20I series – also against New Zealand – before her team travelled to Malaysia to meet Pakistan in three ODIs and three T20Is.
From there, they flew directly to the Caribbean, where they successfully claimed their fourth T20 World Cup title.
Then, just three days after arriving home from Antigua, the country's top players were reunited with their Big Bash teammates for the opening weekend of the Rebel WBBL season, which ran until January 26.
The final round of the WNCL followed, with a NSW team featuring six members of Australia's ODI squad defeated Queensland in the competition final last Saturday.
Now, Australia will meet New Zealand in the Commonwealth Bank ODI Series, beginning at the WACA Ground on February 22, with matches also at Adelaide's Karen Rolton Oval (February 24) and Melbourne's Junction Oval (March 3) – before the players will finally enjoy a well-deserved rest.
"It's been such an enjoyable summer," Perry said in Melbourne on Wednesday following the release of Australia's ODI squad.
"We've been really busy but that's a challenge we're all really taking on board.
"From everyone's perspective we'd love to finish summer well and we've got an opportunity to do that against New Zealand in one-day cricket, which we haven't played a lot of lately so it'll be a great challenge."
For Australia captain Lanning the summer hasn't been without its challenges, with the star batter forced to miss five matches for the Perth Scorchers due to a back complaint.
But the national skipper insists she's been able to manage herself well and is now feeling fresh heading into the final leg of the summer.
"I feel in really good condition at the moment," Lanning said on Wednesday. "After the WBBL I had a few weeks break before the WNCL and I feel like throughout the season I've had to have little breaks along the way.
"I feel really good heading into this series, I always look forward to playing New Zealand and I feel like I'm good to go and have good energy levels."
Given what lies ahead for the Australian team over the next 12 months, Perry believes the summer has been a good opportunity for the top players to adjust to playing more cricket than ever.
In June, Australia will fly to the United Kingdom for the multi-format Ashes while they also have limited-overs series slated against West Indies (away) and Sri Lanka (home) before the start of the first standalone WBBL season in October.
The 2019-20 summer will culminate in the 2020 T20 World Cup, where Australia will look to defend their title on home soil.
"It's going to be the new normal across the next 12 months," Perry said.
"If you look at our schedule and how busy it is, I think it's something everyone's going to adapt to and get better at dealing with."
CommBank ODIs v NZ
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicola Carey, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Georgia Wareham
New Zealand squad: Amy Satterthwaite (c), Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu
February 22: First ODI, WACA Ground, Perth
February 24: Second ODI, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
March 3: Third ODI, Junction Oval, Melbourne