CommBank T20 Series v NZ
Momentum key ahead of WT20: Lanning
Australia won't take the foot off the pedal in Friday's third and final trans-Tasman T20I at Manuka Oval
4 October 2018, 04:43 PM AEST
Australia skipper Meg Lanning has her sights set on a T20I series clean sweep against New Zealand, saying momentum is the key for her team as they build towards next month's Women's World T20 in the Caribbean.
Australia took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Commonwealth Bank Women's T20I series on Monday, but Lanning believes there is still room for improvement in Friday's third and final game at Manuka Oval.
"We've had two tough games so far and we're all really excited to hopefully finish off the series well," Lanning said in Canberra on Thursday.
"It's something we've spoken about and we're really keen to make sure we do finish the series off well.
"In the past we probably haven't been as good at that as we would have liked.
"The group's very focused on making sure we put out our best performance of the series so far.
"We've been good in patches but we probably haven't put out a complete game yet, so tomorrow night's a really good opportunity for us to do that."
Lanning pointed to Australia's fielding as one of those areas for improvement, after dropped catches handed New Zealand opener Suzie Bates two chances in Monday's second T20I. She went on to capitalise, top-scoring for her team with a 52-ball 77.
"In the field is an area we can get better at, we've had our moments but we've also had moments where we'd have liked to be better," Lanning said.
"And with the ball and bat there are some things we can work on."
Australia have pulled off back-to-back successful run chases, employing their star-studded batting line-up to comfortably reach their targets at both North Sydney Oval and Allan Border Field.
The Southern Stars' batting riches – with eight players who open for their respective Rebel WBBL outfits in the Australian XI – mean the world's top-ranked ODI batter Ellyse Perry has been pushed down to No.7 and hasn't yet been called upon this series.
Lanning wasn't drawn on whether she might consider mixing up the batting order on Friday, but backed Perry to make an impact if required.
"We've always got options (with the order), we've got eight people in the team who open for their WBBL teams so on any given day anyone could bat anywhere," Lanning said.
"We feel like we've got a good mix at the moment but it does depend on the game situation who goes in next and everyone is really flexible with bat.
"Perry is down at seven but she's been smashing the ball in the nets so if she does get an opportunity I think she'll do really well."
Australia will have a week's break following the series finale before their ODI squad – set to be named next week – departs for Malaysia, where they'll play a three-game one-day series against Pakistan.
Three T20Is will follow, because the squad flies directly to the Caribbean to prepare for the World T20.
There's little more than a month before Australia's opening match of the ICC tournament on November 9 in Guyana, but Lanning said she wasn't looking too far ahead.
"There's no doubt it's a really big tournament coming up but as a group we haven't spoken about the World Cup at all," Lanning said.
"We've been really focused on this series and we're very keen to make sure we put out the best game of the series tomorrow night.
"Momentum is a big thing and we're looking forward to doing it tomorrow night."
Friday's third and final T20I will kick off at Manuka Oval at 7.20pm AEST, with live coverage on Channel Seven, Fox Sports and cricket.com.au.
CommBank T20 INTLs v NZ
September 29: Australia win by six wickets
October 1: Australia win by six wickets
October 5: Third T20I, Manuka Oval, Canberra
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
New Zealand squad: Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Sophie Devine, Kate Ebrahim, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Amy Satterthwaite (c), Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin