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Australia have historically struggled against their neighbors, New Zealand, as far as women T20Is are concerned. They'll be looking to overturn their horrible records when they take on New Zealand in a 3-match T20I series starting on Saturday, 29th September, in Sydney. Women's World T20 which is to be played in West Indies is just around a couple of months away and this series could very well act as a preparatory series for the much-anticipated prestigious tournament. The poor run of Australia in trans-Tasmanian games can be highlighted by the fact that Australia have won just 15 out of 35 T20 clashes between the two nations. Stats aside, the two teams have showcased close contests more often than not and we expect nothing different this time as well.
Australian women haven't played a T20 series since their victorious campaign against the Indians which was way back in March. They lost one match in that tri-series and were utterly dominant in the final. Considering the changes Australian cricket has seen over the past few months, that Indian tour could very well turn out to be the trigger they were looking for.
Australians played an aggressive brand of Cricket in that series and with an excellent amalgamation of youth and experience, they'll be looking to build on the same brand heading into the World T20.
Although Australian women have been away from international cricket for six months, they aren't short on preparation. Some of the players have spent quality time at Bupa National Cricket Centre while the remaining women went to Super League in England.
Australians have improved a lot since their last Kiwi tour and their last series win, against India, was the evidence for it. Although the Kiwis enjoy a terrific record against them in the T20Is, it's not going to be easy for them to beat this Aussie team.
Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney, Ashleigh Gardner, Meg Lanning, Elyse Villani, Rachael Haynes, Ellyse Perry, Sophie Molineux, Delissa Kimmince, Georgia Wareham, Megan Schutt.
New Zealand started off with a winning note in this series as they registered a comfortable victory over Cricket Australia XI in their warm-up match. Maddy Green batted well as she guided Kiwis home with a personal score of 36 runs off just 23 deliveries.
Considering the relative weakness of Australian women in handling slower operators, the Kiwis have picked a spin-heavy lineup for this tour with perhaps the upcoming ICC Women's World T20 in the hindsight. Although Australian wickets aren't known to be as spinner friendly as those of Caribbean Islands, spinners are still likely to play a crucial role.
It will be an interesting assignment for Amy Satterthwaite as it's the first time she is leading the national side in T20s. With the experience of over 200 international matches up to her sleeves, we are certain to see some interesting decisions from her on the field.
With the likes of limited-overs specialists in Suzie Bates, Amy Satterthwaite, and Sophie Devine, and Lea Tahutu, this side have all the ingredients required to beat Australia in Australia.
Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Jess Watkin, Amy Satterthwaite, Katey Martin, Maddy Green, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Hayley Jensen, Amelia Kerr, Leigh Kasperek, Lea Tahuhu.
Both the teams did particularly well in the warm-up matches and it's going to be an interesting contest between the two. With just three matches between now and the World T20 in November, both the teams will be looking to get their combination right as early as possible. The Kiwis have historically enjoyed the upper hand over the Kangaroos in T20 cricket and they'll be looking to extend this dominance. With an excellent battery of spin bowlers coupled with the experience of Amy Satterthwaite, Suzie Bates, and Sophie Devine, the all black go in as favorites to win the opening match at Sydney.