Australia and New Zealand have announced their respective squads for the upcoming three-match ODI series. Lauren Cheatle and Jess Jonassen have been returned to the Australia squad to face White Ferns while Central Hinds bowler Rosemary Mair is all set to make her ODI debut for White Ferns.
The three-match Rose Bowl ODI series will be a part of the ICC Women’s Championship (2017-20) which will start from February 22 in Perth. Australia have a strong dominance over the tournament as they have won it every time since 2000.
Left-arm seamer Lauren Cheatle last played in ODI nearly two years ago. She scalped 14 wickets in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) for Sydney Sixers and 7 wickets in five matches for NSW Breakers in the recently concluded Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL). Her exceptional performances helped her to find a place in the squad.
“Lauren Cheatle really impressed on the Australia A tour to India in October, and it’s pleasing to see her back playing regular cricket after a string of injuries and we’re confident that her ability to swing the ball will be a challenge for New Zealand,” national selector Shawn Flegler added.
Jess Jonassen, who missed the series against Pakistan in Malaysia last year due to an injury, has returned to the squad. However, opener Nicole Bolton will be unavailable for the series due to her personal problems. Another notable exclusion from the squad is Delissa Kimmince. Along with her, fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck, who was suffering from a knee injury during the Women’s Big Bash League, found herself out of the squad.
“Nicole is unavailable continuing her leave taken during the Big Bash, while the decision was made not to rush Tayla back from a knee injury that ruled her out of the back-end of the Big Bash and last round of domestic cricket,” Shawn Flegler said.
Though there is a question mark on Elyse Vilani’s selection in the playing XI as she had a hamstring injury sustained in the WBBL, she is recovering well.
“All progressing as planned, Elyse will tick off the final aspects of her rehabilitation over the next week and we expect that she will be fully fit for the start of the NZ series,” Kate Mahony, Australia’s physio said.
However, Australia captain Meg Lanning knows that this New Zealand squad can create hurdles in their way of the ODI series win.
“There’s a lot on the line throughout this series. We’ve been watching New Zealand play quite well against India in the last few weeks as well. A good challenge for our group and really important we finish off the summer well,” Lanning added.
“We know they’ve got a very strong team, probably led by Satterthwaite, Bates and Devine. So we’re not surprised they’ve been playing well. Especially against a strong T20 unit in India. We expect them to come over here and play well and we’re looking forward to the challenge of that.”
Meg Lanning (C), Rachael Haynes, Nicola Carey, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Georgia Wareham
The selectors also announced the squad for Governor-General’s match against White Ferns which will be played on February 28 at Drummoyne Oval. Former Australia player Alex Blackwell will lead the squad.
Alex Blackwell (C), Erin Burns, Josie Dooley, Nicole Faltum, Heather Graham, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Rachel Rae-Martin, Annabel Sutherland, Rachel Trenaman, Belinda Vakarewa
On the other hand, Central Hinds bowler Rosemary Mair, who made her T20I debut against India in the recently concluded series, has been named in the ODI squad. Head coach Haidee Tiffen was impressed with her bowling.
She expressed, “We want to give Rosemary an opportunity,” “She bowls that hard, heavy length and challenges the batters, so we are looking at what she can offer in the one-day format.”
Another notable inclusion in the squad is Katey Martin, who had missed the ODI series against India due to work commitments. Her experience will add more strength to the batting line-up.
While talking about Martin, Tiffen said, “Katey brings plenty of experience to the middle order and is a proven performer at the international level. She also provides plenty of energy behind the stumps, which not only helps the bowlers but gets the team up.”
However, White Ferns won the Rose Bowl tournament long back in 1999 but they are confident to do well this time.
“We talk a lot about partnerships and I predict it is going to be a high-scoring series. For us, it’s about working through the ups and downs of ODI cricket – the hunger and desire is there to step up against Aussie in their own backyard,” she said.
“Lea Tahuhu played a WBBL game at the WACA. I’m looking forward to seeing her on a bouncy wicket, bowling fast and taking it to the Australian batting line-up,” coach further added.
New Zealand squad:
Amy Satterthwaite (c), Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu