West Indies v Australia ODIs - Women's
Aussies eye new Windies challenge
Australia's squad for their first bilateral limited-overs tour of the Caribbean set to be revealed on Friday
22 August 2019, 02:29 PM AEST
The dust is still settling on their women’s Ashes victory, but Australia have already turned their minds to their next assignment: a limited-overs tour of the West Indies.
A 14-player squad for the tour will be named on Friday, with Australia to meet the West Indies in three one-day internationals and three T20Is through the first three weeks of September.
Given Australia’s dominance over second-ranked England in the multi-format Ashes, there aren’t expected to be too many surprises in the Caribbean touring party – particularly in the shortest format of the game, given the T20 World Cup will be played on Australian soil next February and March.
But with a 50-over World Cup also on the horizon in 18 months’ time, the series against sixth-ranked West Indies could present selectors with a chance to look to the future in the one-day game – although it would be hard to mess with a winning combination, after Australia swept the ODIs against their English rivals last month.
ICC Women’s Championship points will be on offer in the ODIs and Australia have a chance to seal their place in the 2021 World Cup if they win all three matches.
Given they’ve lost just one of the 12 matches they’ve played in this edition of the championship so far – an ODI loss to England back in October 2017 – their qualification for the tournament appears a mere formality.
But they do have a chance to leapfrog England and reclaim top spot on the Championship table. Australia are currently in second spot on the ladder, just one win behind their Ashes rivals but having played six less matches.
The top four teams at the end of the Championship gain direct qualification to the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand.
Australia have lost just three matches across all formats since the start of 2018 but there’s no sign the world’s top-ranked team will relax any time soon.
The West Indies series is the latest step in the team’s busiest ever year.
It’s a first for Australia, who outside of one two-Test tour of the Caribbean in the 1970s, have only contested the 2010 and 2018 World Cups in the region.
A home limited-overs series against Sri Lanka will follow in September ahead of the first standalone Rebel WBBL season – all of it leading into the start of the T20 World Cup in Australia next February.
"Our high win percentage rate is something we’re very proud of over the last couple of years," Australia coach Matthew Mott said last month.
"This team has been a very strong team for a long time. We’ve still got areas we’d like to tidy up.
"We’ve still got a lot of cricket before the T20 World Cup ... (but) the nucleus of our side is really firing and leads us into the World Cup nicely."