Australia are on Wednesday tipped to name a largely unchanged squad for this month’s Commonwealth Bank T20 International series against New Zealand as they build towards their Women’s World T20 campaign later this year.
Meg Lanning’s T20 outfit claimed a resounding victory over England in the final of their tri-series in India in March, their first series win in the format since mid-2015.
It’s been a long five months since the end of that series. But with a hectic 18 months looming, Australia coach Matthew Mott said consistency would be key to achieving success – not only against New Zealand, but in the away tour against Pakistan that will follow in October and in the World T20 in the Caribbean in November.
“We’ve been searching for a formula (in T20 cricket) for a while,” Mott told cricket.com.au from the Gold Coast.
“We’re reasonably settled with the tactics we had there in India and the personnel, so I don’t see a huge amount of change from there.
“There’ll be tweaks here and there when we line up against different opposition, there might be some slight tinkering, but generally we feel like the structure we’ve got is what we need.”
The T20 series against fierce rivals New Zealand begins with a blockbuster Saturday night match at North Sydney Oval on September 29 that will be broadcast on the Seven Network and Fox Sports immediately following the Australian Football League grand final. The series opener will be followed by games at Brisbane’s AB Field (October 1) and Canberra’s Manuka Oval (October 5).
Australia took a 14-strong T20 squad to India, with allrounders Sophie Molineux and Nicola Carey both handed international debuts during the tour. But with only 13 players expected to be named to play the White Ferns, it seems likely NSW and Thunder batter Naomi Stalenberg, the only player not to get a game during the tri-series, would be the one to drop out.
However the Southern Stars will field an expanded 15-player squad at the World T20, with opportunities remaining for several players – likely extra bowling options, given the strength of Australia’s current batting line-up – to join the group for that tournament.
“The selectors are pretty strong on the 15 they have in mind, but obviously I can’t divulge that at the moment,” Mott said.
“There’s not a lot of room for change, we’re reasonably confident with what we need.
“This team hasn’t been thrown together, it’s been evolving over time so the selection is pretty strong on the make-up of that team already.”
That consistency will be crucial for Australia as they enter possibly their busiest period ever.
November’s World T20 will be followed by the fourth edition of the Rebel WBBL, before New Zealand returns for an ODI series at the end of the summer.
Away tours against West Indies and England are on the agenda for 2019, before a home series against Sri Lanka leads into the biggest event of them all: a World T20 on Australian soil in February-March 2020.
Possible Australia T20 squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington