The Rose Bowl series between Australia and New Zealand is set to begin on Friday, less than one month since the conclusion of the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League which saw a host of New Zealand stars play with and against Australia squad members.
Sydney Thunder’s Rachael Haynes, who will continue her tenure as vice-captain of Australia in this series, says her side has gained plenty of knowledge on their trans-Tasman rivals throughout the domestic competition.
“We’ll certainly take some of the lessons that we’ve learned along the way about each other and I’m sure you’ll see some tactics come to life this series," Haynes told cricket.com.au.
“It’s two-fold, you learn a bit about them and they learn a bit about you.
“The one thing it does, it pushes you to want to become a better player, particularly with the skill level that’s around at the moment.
“I had the pleasure of playing alongside Sophie Devine late last year over in England. She’s such a great player and she certainly taught me a couple of things and it probably gives you an appreciation as well for how skillful they are.
“We’ve seen Amelia Kerr as well, a young leg-spinner who has played lots and lots of international cricket.
"She can turn the ball both ways so that’s a threat in any conditions.”
With regular ODI opener Nicole Bolton unavailable, there is a vacant spot at the top of the order.
Haynes, a proven opening batter at domestic and international level, says she would happily take on the responsibility if it came her way.
“I think one of the best things about our side is we’ve got quite a few openers within our group,” Haynes said.
“There could be any number of players who end up doing it.
“I’d jump at the opportunity if I was given the chance, but by the same token we’ve got Beth (Mooney) there as well who’s done it in the past.”
Despite suffering a 2-1 defeat to India in the ODI series earlier this month, a clean-sweep in the T20I series should see New Zealand travel to Australia full of confidence, setting the scene for an exciting series.
“They’re a pretty competitive side and have played some good cricket against India as well recently at home," Haynes said.
"We’re looking forward to them coming over to Australia and hopefully playing some good cricket."
The three-match series begins in Perth on 22 February, ahead of matches in Adelaide (February 24) and Melbourne (March 3).
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicola Carey, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Georgia Wareham
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
Sydney fans will have the chance to support Australia when the Governor General’s XI play New Zealand in a day-night 50-over game at Drummoyne Oval on 28 February.
The GG’s XI will be captained by Thunder skipper Alex Blackwell and features rising stars Rachel Trenaman and Belinda Vakarewa.
Governor-General’s XI: Alex Blackwell (c), Erin Burns, Josie Dooley, Nicole Faltum (wk), Heather Graham, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Rachel Rae-Martin (Australian Defence Force), Annabel Sutherland, Rachel Trenaman, Belinda Vakarewa