CommBank T20 Series v NZ
Australia v NZ: Inside word with the skipper
Australia captain Meg Lanning provides the low down ahead of the Commonwealth Bank Women’s T20I Series
Laura Jolly in Sydney
26 September 2018, 09:04 AM AEST
The international summer will begin under lights at North Sydney Oval on Saturday night, when Australia meet New Zealand in the Commonwealth Bank Women’s T20 series opener.
There’s plenty at stake, with the No.1 ranked Australians looking to finetune their 20-over game ahead of the ICC World T20 tournament in the Caribbean this November.
Ahead of Saturday’s game, Australia captain Meg Lanning has the inside word on what to expect from this trans-Tasman contest.
Who’s the player to watch?
Ashleigh Gardner for me. I think she’s shown bits and pieces of what she can do but she’s really starting to put it all together. With both bat and ball she’s a match-winner and I’m really excited to see her performing well this summer.
Who’s a young gun to look out for?
Tayla Vlaeminck, a new Victorian quick who’s earned her first call-up. She’s got a unique action, but she runs in and bowls quick. She’s different to anyone else I’ve faced. She’s just got a really great attitude, really enjoys her cricket. I’m really looking forward to seeing how she goes.
What’s the strength of your side?
I think our variety, especially with the two players we’ve added to the squad in (leg-spinner) Georgia Wareham and Tayla. We’ve got really good options with both bat and ball and I think that’s a really important part of T20 cricket that you can come up with different things on different days. I feel like everyone in that squad has got something different to add.
Who’s the biggest White Ferns threat?
There’s a few but I think Sophie Devine in this format is probably the one who can really take the game away from you. We’ve seen her in good form in the last few months in England’s Super League, and over the last few years she’s really been quite dominant. So she’s one we’ll be keen to get out pretty early and limit her effectiveness with the ball.
Which team will be the biggest threat at the World T20?
It’s difficult to really pinpoint. I think it’s a very open tournament. You’ve got England, New Zealand, India. But even South Africa and West Indies on their days have got some really good strengths and an ability to take the game away from you. We’re going in with that attitude that it’s very open and we need to play consistent, good attacking cricket and make sure we play our style as much as we can, because that’s the only way we’re going to get the result that we want.
What’s the team focusing on improving ahead of the World T20?
It’s just nailing down our style of play. We’ve established that over in India when we did play that real aggressive style and then tried to continue that even when we were under pressure. But there’s still work to do in that area, I think. That’s what these New Zealand games are really important for, making sure that we’re able to stick to our game plan regardless of what the situation is. Because that’s the way we feel like we need to play to be successful.
Is there one thing the team isn’t doing right now that needs to be nailed down before the World T20?
Probably not specifically. I think our death bowling’s improved a lot. We can keep continuing to evolve in that area but I think we’ve made some really good strides. I think one of the biggest points of difference is going to be fielding. Catching in general in cricket hasn’t been as good as it could be and that’s a real focus for us, making sure that we out-field the opposition. If we can improve in that area, it’s going to play a massive role in the World Cup.
CommBank T20 INTLs v NZ
Australia T20 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
September 29: First T20I, North Sydney Oval, Sydney
October 1: Second T20I, Allan Border Field, Brisbane
October 5: Third T20I, Manuka Oval, Canberra