West Indies v Australia ODIs - Women's
Aussies rest up in Antigua as heat takes toll
Coaching staff elect to cancel a training session in oppressive Antiguan conditions ahead of tonight's third ODI against West Indies
Laura Jolly in Antigua
11 September 2019, 07:40 AM AEST
Australia will look to defy inhospitable conditions and a West Indian team fighting for a World Cup berth as they aim to continue their winning run in Wednesday's third and final one-day international in Antigua.
The No.1 ranked Australians have already sealed a series win after claiming 178- and 151-run wins in the first two ODIs, but assistant coach Shelley Nitschke says the team has no intention of taking the foot off the pedal as they eye a 15th consecutive one-day win.
Australia haven't lost a one-day international since November 2017 and are closing in on the best-ever run by any women's team in the format, a 17-run streak Australia enjoyed from December 1997 to February 1999.
"All series and all wins are important, so we just like to keep raising that bar," Nitschke said on Tuesday.
"Another series sweep would be fantastic here … and we know they're a really good T20 team and that series is around the corner as well, so there's still a fair bit of cricket to go here."
Australia were forced to spend a gruelling 50 overs in the field on Sunday in energy-sapping heat and humidity with the West Indian batters determined to grind out runs rather than pursuing their unlikely target of 309 after losing two early wickets.
The time spent in the challenging conditions took its toll on the Australian players – including batter Beth Mooney, who was forced to retire on 56 due to heat stress – and with recovery in mind, the Australian coaching staff elected to cancel Tuesday's scheduled nets session at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
It means the 14-player squad go into Wednesday's game (another day game beginning at 9.30am local time) with two days of rest under their belts.
"It's pretty warm here in Antigua and we had a full game the other day," Nitschke said.
"There's some pretty tired bodies, so we opted to have the day off training today and there's an option to have a hit ahead of the game tomorrow.
"It gives the girls an extra day to recover and just get out of the sun a bit and refresh for the next game.
"We had a few girls who were struggling with the heat so it's in our best interests to make sure they're good to go into the third ODI."
For the injury-depleted West Indies, there's more than just the offer of a consolation win on the line if they can upset the in-form Australians.
Stafanie Taylor's team currently sit seventh on the eight-team ICC Women's ODI Championship table, with just five wins from 17 matches.
To automatically qualify for the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand, they need to at the very least leapfrog Pakistan and South Africa on the table, with only the top four teams plus the hosts earning a direct berth in the eight-team event.
The bottom three teams will be forced to fight for their spot at a qualifying event in Sri Lanka late next year.
"For batters we need to go back and look into the mirror and take more responsibility because I don't think that's what we're doing," Taylor said following her team's defeat on Sunday.
Australia will be eyeing an ODI series sweep in the third and final one-day international, to be played at the same venue on Wednesday from 9.30am local time (11.30pm AEST).
Fans in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea can stream the series live and free on cricket.com.au and the CA Live App, while fans elsewhere can watch on the West Indies Cricket YouTube channel.
CommBank Tour of the West Indies
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Heather Graham, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
West Indies ODI squad: Stafanie Taylor (c), Hayley Matthews (vc), Reniece Boyce, Afy Fletcher, Chinelle Henry, Shamilia Connell, Stacy Ann King, Natasha McLean, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Anisa Mohammed, Karishma Ramharack, Shabika Gajnabi
One-Day Internationals* *ICC Women's Championship matches
First ODI: Australia won by 178 runs
Second ODI: Australia won by 151 runs
September 11: Third ODI, Sir Viv Richards Ground, Antigua
September 14: First T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados
September 16: Second T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados
September 18: Third T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados