Next month’s World T20 is just around the corner, but Australia will briefly switch their attention back to the 50-over game when their three-game ODI series against Pakistan begins in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
For both teams, the series is a chance to win some crucial ICC Women’s Championship points.
For Australia, the longer form of the white-ball game is also a chance for their batters to spend extra time in the middle after a T20I series against New Zealand that was largely dominated by the top order.
The ODI series, which is being played in Malaysia due to a lack of available grounds in the United Arab Emirates, will be followed by a three-game T20I series where both teams have a final chance to fine-tune before travelling directly to the Caribbean.
October 18: First ODI v Pakistan, Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur (12.30pm AEDT)
October 20: Second ODI v Pakistan, Kinrara Academy Oval (12.30pm AEDT)
October 22: Third ODI v Pakistan, Kinrara Academy Oval (12.30pm AEDT)
October 25: First T20I v Pakistan, Kinrara Academy Oval (1pm AEDT)
October 27: Second T20I v Pakistan, Kinrara Academy Oval (1pm AEDT)
October 29: Third T20I v Pakistan, Kinrara Academy Oval (1pm AEDT)
Australia ODI squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
Australia T20 squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen (subject to fitness), Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
Pakistan ODI/T20 squad: Javeria Khan (c), Bibi Nahida, Ayesha Zafar, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui, Sidra Amin, Omaima Sohail, Nida Rashid, Sidra Nawaz, Sana Mir, Nashra Sundhu, Anum Amin, Natalia Parvaiz, Aliya Riaz, Diana Baig, Aiman Anwar
Australia wrapped up a 3-0 T20I series win over New Zealand in Canberra earlier this month, with players given one week to rest and recuperate before departing for Malaysia.
The dominant performance against the White Ferns will have Meg Lanning’s team full of confidence, but they are heading into an unknown, having never played in Kuala Lumpur before, and with just three days to prepare after arriving in the Asian nation.
There are three uncapped players in the ODI squad, all hailing from Victoria; allrounder Sophie Molineux, leg-spinner Georgia Wareham and fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck. Molineux and Wareham have already made T20 debuts – the former in India in March and the latter against New Zealand – while Vlaeminck is yet to receive a cap in that format.
Pakistan, meanwhile, recently wrapped up an away tour against Bangladesh where they went undefeated in the T20 component but suffered a surprise loss in the one-off ODI.
Last time they met
Australia cruised to a 159-run win over Pakistan during last year’s 50-over World Cup in the United Kingdom and have an outstanding record against the Asian nation, having won all nine ODIs played between the teams.
Their record is similarly strong in the T20 arena, where Australia have won all six games against Pakistan.
The bigger picture
Both teams will be eager to impress in Kuala Lumpur, but there’s no escaping the fact there’s a World T20 tournament beginning in the West Indies next month. Australia and Pakistan have both placed in ground B for that event and this series is a chance to learn about their rivals, find momentum and finalise preparations.
The ODI Championship
ICC Women’s Championship points will be on offer in the three-match ODI series. Running every four years, the Championship determines which three teams, alongside hosts New Zealand, gain automatic qualification for the 2021 World Cup.
After playing two round of matches (out of seven), Australia sit second on the table on 10 points, two points behind New Zealand, who have played three rounds. Two wins will be enough to see Lanning’s team overtake them on top of the chart.
How to follow
The Pakistan Cricket Board will live stream both the ODI and T20I matches, while you will also be able to follow the live scores on cricket.com.au and the Cricket Australia Live App.
Cricket.com.au will also be producing reports and behind-the-scenes content throughout the series, and keep an eye on the Australian Women’s Cricket Team Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for exclusive insights into life on tour.
2018 ICC Women's World T20
November 9: Australia v Pakistan, Province Stadium, Guyana
November 11: Australia v Ireland, Province Stadium
November 13: Australia v New Zealand, Province Stadium
November 17: Australia v India, Province Stadium
November 22: Semi-finals, Sir Vivian Richards Ground, Antigua
November 24: Final, Sir Vivian Richards Ground