White Ferns captain Suzie Bates has hit a rich vein of
form before the Rose Bowl series which starts in Sydney today.
The Otago Sparks all-rounder has been in blistering form with
the bat in the one-day tournament and has had just as much
success with the ball.
She is the competition's leading wicket-taker with 12 scalps
at an average of 19.91 but it is her batting which has
attracted the most attention. The 25-year-old has scored 398
runs at 99.50, including an impressive undefeated 160 against
It is just the kind of form you want to hit when you are
about to start a tough series of games against Australia.
The opening game of the four-game series is at the Sydney
Cricket Ground today, with the other three being played at at
North Sydney Oval.
''Four is a funny number for a series but we have to win
three to get the Rose Bowl back, so that is going to be a
challenge,'' Bates said.
''They only found time for four between our domestic season
Bates said the domestic season has provided the team with the
perfect build-up for the series.
''Lots of the girls have been scoring big runs and time in
the middle is the best preparation.
''I've played more cricket than I have in the past with
coming from the world cup and then having a stint in Perth,
where I didn't perform that well. But to come back and
perform with the ball and the bat feels pretty good.
Hopefully, against the Aussies a few of our players can
continue to score big as well."
It will be the first tour for new White Ferns coach Katrina
Keenan, who recently took over from Gary Stead.
''It almost feels like a new beginning for the team and we
are really keen to show exactly what we're capable of,''
''If we play to our potential then there is no doubt
whatsoever that we have what it takes to beat Australia and
we'll be doing our best to do so."
New Zealand v Australia
December 12: First ODI, Sydney Cricket Ground
December 14: Second ODI, North Sydney Oval
December 17: Third ODI, North Sydney Oval
December 19: Fourth ODI, North Sydney Oval
White Ferns squad: Suzie Bates (captain), Amy
Satterthwaite, Erin Bermingham, Nicola Browne, Rachel Candy,
Sophie Devine, Lucy Doolan, Frances Mackay, Katey Martin,
Sara McGlashan, Morna Nielsen, Katie Perkins, Rachel Priest,