New Zealand v Australia T20Is - Women's
Aussies look to surpass Ponting's greats on NZ tour
Australia to tour New Zealand in March and April, where they will get the chance to break the world record for the most consecutive ODI wins
14 January 2021, 11:03 AM AEST
Australia's preparations for next year's ODI World Cup have been given a significant boost following confirmation they will travel across the Tasman for a limited-overs tour of New Zealand in March and April.
New Zealand Cricket confirmed they would host tours from both Australia and England over the coming months, filling the gap left by the postponed ICC tournament, which was shifted from February-March to March-April next year due to the pandemic.
It marks a welcome return to international cricket for world champions Australia, whose scheduled home series against India this month was postponed to next summer.
Their most recent outing was against the White Ferns on Australian soil last October.
For Meg Lanning's team, it is also an ideal chance to gain experience in New Zealand conditions ahead of the one-day World Cup, which is the only piece of silverware currently missing from the No.1 ranked Australians’ trophy cabinet.
Their schedule includes matches at Hamilton’s Seddon Park and Mt Maunganui's Bay Oval – both of which are World Cup venues.
Australia will arrive in New Zealand in mid-March and undertake a fortnight of mandatory quarantine before meeting the White Ferns in three T20Is at Seddon Park, on March 28, 30 and April 1.
The third T20I (March 28) will be a double-header with the Black Caps, who will play Bangladesh on the same day.
From there, Australia and New Zealand will travel to Bay Oval for three Rose Bowl ODIs on April 4, 7 and 10.
There, Australia will have a chance to set a new world record for most consecutive ODI victories, having matched Ricky Ponting’s 2003 team's streak of 21 wins last year.
Foxtel and Kayo hold the broadcast rights for international cricket played in New Zealand.
Lanning and her team will be particularly excited to make a return to Bay Oval, a venue where they have enjoyed rich success on recent tours.
Lanning has scored three centuries in her last four innings at the venue – back-to-back tons in 2016 and another in 2017 – while Australia have won their last four matches at the ground.
The Australia captain spoke of her love for the small seaside town on The Scoop podcast just last week, hinting at her desire for a return to Bay Oval.
"It'll give us good practice (for the World Cup) over in their conditions," Lanning said asked about the prospect of a New Zealand tour.
"Hopefully we get to go to Mt Maunganui, which is a great place to play cricket … we love going there."
Australia are likely to name their squad for the tour next month, with coach Matthew Mott foreshadowing some surprise inclusions when speaking to cricket.com.au late last year.
"(New Zealand) would be an amazing dress rehearsal for a year later and we’d able to take some players over there who might not have experienced NZ conditions, to see whether our gut feelings are right," Mott said at the end of the Rebel WBBL season.
"I wouldn't say we’d try a few new players for the sake of it, but if there’s an opportunity to try and test a few of our theories about players who are on the rise, then absolutely we will.
"We always try and pick our best team, but you've got to balance that with the fact everything is about World Cup cycles.
"We want to win every game we play, but we'd be crazy if we had a gut feeling and we didn’t utilise that opportunity to test it out beforehand."
England will arrive in New Zealand on January 26 and will play the White Ferns in three ODIs and three T20s between February 23 and March 7.
Australia's Tour of New Zealand, 2021
March 28: First T20I, Seddon Park, Hamilton
March 30: Second T20I, Seddon Park, Hamilton
April 1: Third T20I, Seddon Park, Hamilton
April 4: First ODI, Bay Oval, Tauranga
April 7: First ODI, Bay Oval, Tauranga
April 10: First ODI, Bay Oval, Tauranga