Cricket: Australia to try some tinkering in Rose Bowl

The four one-day internationals in Sydney represents the last opportunity for Fields to experiment with combinations before the World Cup. Photo / Getty Images
The four one-day internationals in Sydney represents the last opportunity for Fields to experiment with combinations before the World Cup. Photo / Getty Images

Australian captain Jodie Fields is ready to tinker with her batting and bowling options in the Rose Bowl series against New Zealand, to prepare for the women's cricket World Cup.

The transtasman rivals clash in four one-day internationals in Sydney, starting at the SCG today, with further games at North Sydney on December 14, 17 and 19.

The series represents the last opportunity for Fields to experiment with combinations before the World Cup starts on January 31 in India, where New Zealand will be one of Australia's group rivals, along with Pakistan and South Africa.

"We may change a few things up," Fields said.

"Some people might bat higher than they normally do, or we might try a few different bowling options.

"But the aim of the game is still to win four matches and play well."

Australia's squad is almost the same one that won the World T20 tournament in Sri Lanka in October.

Injured bowler Julie Hunter has been replaced by Sharon Millanta, with Lauren Ebsary the one player dropped for the Rose Bowl series in which Australia will operate with a squad of 13, one less than at the World T20.

Second-ranked Australia have traditionally held the whip hand in the Rose Bowl, which is usually contested after Christmas but was brought forward this season because of the World Cup.

They have won 20 of the previous 25 series, with world No4 New Zealand triumphant on just three occasions, with the other two drawn.

While Australia and England have been the major powers in women's cricket in recent times, Fields said New Zealand were very competitive and strong.

"They are still a really talented side and we won't be taking them lightly in the next four games," Fields said.

"Being the holders of the Rose Bowl at the moment, there's probably a little bit of pressure on us to retain that, but we've got the right squad and I know most of the girls are playing pretty well at the moment."

- AAP

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