New Zealand v Australia ODIs - Women's
Never satisfied: Aussies hunt trophies after record win
The Rose Bowl and the bigger picture of an ODI World Cup are on Australia's to-do list as their trans-Tasman ODI series continues
5 April 2021, 01:30 PM AEST
In the dressing room following Australia’s record-breaking 22nd one-day international victory, coach Matthew Mott called his squad together.
Standing in a circle, arms around one another’s shoulders, Mott reflected on their achievements, a journey through an unbeaten three years of ODI cricket that started in India, took them to Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean and now New Zealand; before the players and staff erupted into their team song.
It was a moment to stop and consider what had been achieved, and left an impression on pace spearhead Megan Schutt, who played all but two of the matches during the streak.
"That was really special," Schutt said on Monday. "Our arms went a little bit dead from holding them up so long chatting about it, waiting for the team song.
"It was really cool. (The streak) was something we didn’t speak about before we went onto the field (on Sunday) but we definitely spoke about it after because it is a really special achievement.
"(Afterwards) most of us did go for a bit of a beverage. It wasn’t a late night but just some casual conversation and it was cool to see which people had played all 22 games.
"I’m no spring chicken and I’d played a fair few of them as well, so it was cool to go through those."
The words may not have been said, but it is likely there was another thought at the back of the Australian groups’ minds on Sunday evening: in a little over 11 months, they will be back in that same Bay Oval dressing room, in the middle of an ODI World Cup campaign.
The next goal will be winning Wednesday’s second ODI and continuing a 21-year winning stream in the Rose Bowl, but preparing for that ICC tournament remains a high priority for this series.
Australia do not know yet who their opponent for that World Cup round match at Bay Oval on March 8 will be, with the qualifiers to be held at the end of this year.
However, working out how they want to approach their one-day cricket at that venue, and more generally in New Zealand conditions, is a major storyline running parallel to this bilateral tour.
"I think it’s a really good chance for us as a team to get used to the conditions and trial the brand of cricket we want to play for the World Cup," Schutt said.
"I’ve been to New Zealand a few times now, so (the conditions) are not a surprise to me, I know them pretty well.
"It’s not too dissimilar to Australia, it probably just keeps a little lower and slower with a little more swing … but for players like (fast bowlers) Tayla Vlaeminck and Darcie Brown who haven’t been here before, to still be ripping through at that pace and get some swing, it’s an added benefit."
Schutt produced one of the balls of the summer with her first delivery in Sunday’s ODI, a stunning inswinger that started well outside off before hooping back in and cleaning up Hayley Jensen’s leg stump.
However, she is expecting the Bay Oval deck to increasingly offer assistance to the spin bowlers across the series, with all three games to be played on the same pitch.
"I didn’t really intend for it to swing that much, it just happened that way," Schutt laughed after producing some considerable swing in the series opener on Sunday.
"Not a single ball swung to that extent for the rest of the game so Hayley (Jensen) was pretty unlucky.
"I already found (the wicket) was a little bit slow, my cutters were actually gripping really well.
"Come the third game, I think spinners will be in for a win with that one.
"I think there’s going to be a bit of turn on offer.
"Who knows, they might look after the wicket really well, I’m no (curator) but the third game might be a struggle for people like me who don’t quite have the pace."
It has been a long summer for both the Australian and New Zealand players, who underwent periods of quarantine to play bilateral series in one another’s countries, alongside full domestic schedules and for many, a Rebel WBBL played entirely in a hub.
The finish line is in sight for the Australian group, who will enjoy an extended period of leave after returning home following Saturday’s final ODI.
However, Schutt said there was no risk of weariness.
"There’s no point coming out here and playing flat cricket when we’ve quarantined for two weeks," she said.
"Every game you play for Australia is a special one.
"We’ve got a Rose Bowl on offer, it’s all leading to bigger and better things with the World Cup, and we’ve done the quarantine to be here, so that’s all the motivator we need.
"We’re had some past mistakes where we’ve taken our foot off the pedal and let teams back in and that’s something we’ll be aware of and New Zealand have the capability to come back, that’s for sure.
"(The second game on) Wednesday is another test and hopefully we can win the Rose Bowl."
CommBank tour of New Zealand 2021
Australia ODI & T20I Squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Georgia Wareham, Belinda Vakarewa, Tayla Vlaeminck
New Zealand ODI squad: Amy Satterthwaite (capt), Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Frances Mackay, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin (wk), Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu
1st T20: Australia won by six wickets
2nd T20: New Zealand won by four wickets
3rd T20: Play abandoned due to rain
1st ODI: Australia won by six wickets
All matches will be shown live in Australia on Fox Cricket and Kayo