CommBank T20Is v New Zealand
Mental edge key to Australia's T20 winning streak
The T20 world champions haven't lost a series in the international game's shortest format since 2017
27 September 2020, 07:16 PM AEST
Australia’s dominance in the most fickle of formats stretched to a remarkable 10 consecutive series victories on Sunday, as wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy admitted the world champions’ psychological edge over rivals may be just as critical as their skills with bat and ball.
An emphatic eight-wicket win in the second T20I against New Zealand in Brisbane secured an unassailable 2-0 lead for Australia with one match to play.
It is their sixth bilateral series win in a row; the last time they failed to win a 20-over series was against England in late 2017.
Since, they have beaten New Zealand (twice), England, Pakistan, West Indies and Sri Lanka, while also taking out two tri-series (both times against strong opposition in England and India) and winning two T20 World Cup titles.
From a total of 39 matches across that period they have won 33, and one of their six defeats went down to a Super Over.
Australia have also not lost a bilateral ODI series since 2013 but putting together such a consistent run in T20s is another achievement all together, in Healy’s eyes.
"T20 cricket is so hard to be consistent at and for this team to have won 10 T20 series on the trot, it’s remarkable," Healy said on Sunday.
"In my view it’s a really hard format of the game to be really consistent at and it’s one we play a lot of."
The winning run was triggered by a frustrating period in the T20 format, which saw Australia go more than two-and-a-half years without a series win.
During that time, they lost two bilateral series to New Zealand, one to England and finished runners-up to West Indies in the 2016 World Cup.
Notably, they were also knocked out of the semi-finals of the 2017 ODI World Cup during that period, a shock defeat that prompted an all-encompassing review of the team’s culture and approach.
Adopting a new fearless mantra, they have since won 53 of 60 matches across the two limited-overs formats.
"It’s a great shift for us, I do remember that time when we couldn’t win a T20 series against the Kiwis, they were so dominant in that format and we were just priding ourselves on winning the Rose Bowl (in ODIs)," Healy said.
"It’s a really fantastic record and we should be really proud of it because it’s a really tough format to be consistent at."
Australia’s remarkable T20I consistency has meant they have also fielded a very consistent playing group: just 18 different players have featured in an Australia XI across those 10 series wins.
Alyssa Healy, Rachael Haynes and Megan Schutt are the three players to have appeared in all 39 matches during that time, while Beth Mooney (38), Meg Lanning (36), Ashleigh Gardner (36), Ellyse Perry (35) and Delissa Kimmince (32) have also been prolific.
Fifteen of those 18 are part of the current squad, and one of the three absentees, Tayla Vlaeminck, would be an automatic inclusion if not injured.
It all started in Mumbai in 2018 - congratulations to our Aussie girls on ten T20I series on the trot! 🤩🏆 #AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/ojzaxtejl5— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) September 27, 2020
While consistent, the Australian selectors have continued to look to the future, with six players making their T20I debuts throughout the 10 series victories.
Asked whether Australia’s sheer dominance now gave them a psychological edge over any team they played, Healy responded: "I’d like to think so, we really pride ourselves with cricket in this country that we just know how to win and when our backs are against the wall we find ways to win games of cricket.
"We showed that yesterday when we lost a few wickets early and we looked under the pump, but to fight our way to a half-decent total and for the bowlers to stand up and do the job again just shows we’re confident we can fight out way out of situations.
"I guess it is some sort of psychological edge, but at the same time our skills are fantastic at the moment and we’re really backing our ability to deliver when need be, so it’s a nice mix."
CommBank T20I and ODI series
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Belinda Vakarewa
New Zealand squad: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Natalie Dodd, Deanna Doughty, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin
All matches to be played at Brisbane's Allan Border Field
First T20: Australia won by 17 runs
Second T20: Australia won by eight wickets
September 30: Third T20, 1:45pm AEST
October 3: First ODI, 10:10am AEST
October 5: Second ODI, 10:10am AEST (11:10 AEDT)
October 7: Third ODI, 10:10am AEST (11:10 AEDT)
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