Women's World T20 2018

Relaxed Mott seeking silverware

Expectations are high for Australia's women's team, says coach Matthew Mott

Laura Jolly, in Guyana

09 November 2018, 06:27 AM

Expectations high for Australia

Australia will head into the World T20 as the No.1 side, on nine-run winning streak and with a squad coach Matthew Mott describes as "in the greatest place he's ever seen it" – but with one glaring hole in their trophy cabinet.

Meg Lanning's team is ranked the world's best in both limited-overs formats (there are no Test rankings) and aside from a short period last year when they were usurped by England, have been since rankings were introduced in 2015.

Since taking all before them between 2010 and 2014, winning three WT20 titles and a World Cup, they have since lost the final of the 2016 World T20 to the West Indies, and failed to make the final of last year's 50-over World Cup in the UK.

And it's that ability to turn consistently strong performances into silverware in the biggest tournaments that is driving the team on the eve of Friday's first group match against Pakistan in Guyana.

"We've always got huge expectations on ourselves as a group and there's no hiding the fact we don't have any World Cups to show for the last couple of years," Mott said.

"Our winning percentage is very high but tournament play is a different beast.

"Our consistency over the last few years is unquestionable and it shows in the world rankings, but we found out the hard way you can be playing good cricket and then you have a bad patch and it costs you a World Cup, so we're under no illusions (heading into this one).

"Sometimes the best teams don't win World Cups, but we'll do everything in our power to make sure when the pressure's on, we make the right decisions in the critical moments and that's all we can do."

Lanning, Mott full of confidence

The defeats in 2016 and 2017 prompted a re-think from the Australian brains' trust and they go into this tournament in the Caribbean armed with a new, more aggressive game plan.

And Mott is confident that even if things don't go to plan, they will have left nothing to chance.

"I can definitely say that the team is in a greater place than I've ever seen it, over the last 12 months we've grown a lot as a team," Mott said.

"The approach we're playing, we've got a lot of kudos at home for the freedom we've played with.

"We probably played the first couple of years I was coach in a pretty conservative manner and that was something that a couple of World Cup exits brought to the fore and we made sure we addressed that. 

"There's 100 per cent buy in from the group and you can see that from the way we play and conduct ourselves.

"If we happen to fall over here, we certainly can't say because of our approach. We've done everything in our powers to play a good style of T20 cricket and it's been working the last 12 months."

Australia's 15-player squad is packed with talent and it's also a team that is reaping the benefits of Cricket Australia's improved pay deal for female players, introduced with last year's new Memorandum of Understanding, which has seen those centrally contracted become fully professional cricketers.

The 2018 Women's Global Employment Market Report, released by the Federation of International Cricketers Associations last month, deemed Australia to be leading the way – labelling them "progressively professional" – slightly ahead of England, and with the likes of India and New Zealand labelled "fledgling professional".

It's by no means a guarantee for success in the Caribbean, but Mott praised the example set in Australia.

"I think it's a journey a lot of teams are on, we're at the start of that curve and we're very proud of the system we've created in the last few years and Cricket Australia in particular has done a wonderful job," he said.

"We've seen (T20) leagues pop up around the world and the English one is going well and our league (the Rebel WBBL) at home is fantastic, I think the next frontier is India getting their own league and that will grow the game immensely. 

"We can't do anything about anyone else's setup, but we've done a lot in a short space of time...and women's cricket has certainly progressed a lot in the last few years. Hopefully other teams are aspiring towards that."

Australia's opening match of the World T20 against Pakistan will begin at 4pm Friday local time (Saturday 7am AEDT).

Fox Sports will broadcast every match of the Women's World T20, while the Nine Network will televise Australia's matches.

2018 ICC Women's World T20  

Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham

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