New Zealand will host Australia for three T20Is, followed by as many ODIs, starting March 28
New Zealand have named a fit-again Lea Tahuhu in the squad for the three home ODIs against Australia that follow the three-match T20I series. Meanwhile, allrounder Brooke Halliday and 16-year-old left-arm spinner Fran Jonas have been picked in both squads. Halliday had made successive fifties in her first two ODIs, during the home series against England, in which Jonas, too, made her debut.
According to an NZC release, Tahuhu has recovered from her hamstring strain that had ruled her out of the last two ODIs and the entire T20I series against the visiting England side last month. She, however, wasn’t considered for the T20Is against Australia as the selectors opted to keep her fresh for the 50-over matches.
New Zealand head coach Bob Carter said Australia, the top-ranked side in both ODIs and T20Is, presented a good preparatory platform for the home team, who will also host the next ODI World Cup in less than a year’s time.
“We’re up for the challenge against Australia,” he said. “To be the best, you have to beat the best and we know we’re going to have to be at the very top of our game.
“Brooke and Fran have come in and impressed everyone,” he said. “Brooke’s performances first-up against England showed she’s got what it takes and we’re excited to give her more opportunities at this level. Fran has fitted in extremely well and shown a real willingness to learn and grow as a cricketer – her youthful exuberance is infectious.”
Sophie Devine, the New Zealand captain, meanwhile, is set to make her 100th T20I appearance and will join the men’s camp this week to observe their training.
“To play 100 T20Is will be a really special occasion and I’m excited to join the club alongside Suzie and Amy,” Devine said. “It’s a great opportunity to see how the Blackcaps’ inner sanctum go about their work,” she said. “As a team, they’ve managed a sustained period of success, so any little insights I can glean and take back to the White Ferns camp will be invaluable.
“I’ve also done short stints with the Silver Ferns [the women’s national netball team] and Black Ferns [the women’s national hockey team] over the past few months with an eye to developing our own team environment,” she said. “The chance to connect with other elite female athletes is important for our own learning and growth. Both the Silver Ferns and Black Ferns are world champions in their respective codes, so to experience those team environments has been great.
The three T20Is will be part of double-headers to be played alongside the New Zealand men’s matches, starting March 28 at Seddon Park. Tauranga will host the three ODIs. Sunday’s double-header will also be the first time a New Zealand Women’s game will feature on TVNZ’s Channel 1, in the prime-time slot of 7.10pm.
“We are motivated and keen to put on a good show for our fans,” Devine said. “To be playing on free-to-air TV on a Sunday night is a big step forward for the women’s game. We know thousands of new fans will see us play for the very first time.”
T20I squad: Sophie Devine (capt), Amy Satterthwaite (vice-capt), Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Frances Mackay, Katey Martin (wk), Thamsyn Newton, Hannah Rowe
ODI squad: Sophie Devine (capt), Amy Satterthwaite (vice-capt), Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek – (games 2 & 3 only), Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Frances Mackay, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin (wk), Hannah Rowe (game 1 only), Lea Tahuhu