One phrase keeps cropping up in conversation with Amy Satterthwaite about what she wants from her White Ferns.

Satterthwaite has taken over the captaincy after Suzie Bates' resignation this month. She's been in the national side since 2007, knows the game inside out and is a noted student of cricket.

New Zealand received high praise on the eve of their three-game T20 series against Australia this month from Australian coach Matthew Mott, who labelled New Zealand the benchmark side in the shortest form.

But the White Ferns are coming off a poor tour of England and disappointing World Cup.

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So Satterthwaite's message to her players is simple: stay in the fight.

It mirrors the comment of a former New Zealand men's coach who would argue even if you have been outplayed for the first three days of a test, hang in there and strange things can happen on day five.

Satterthwaite believes her captaincy style will have elements of leading from the front - "and I guess I like to take the game on a bit, taking a bit of a risk to lose it at times, but it's finding a balance. But it's about being in the fight for longer."

She is playing in Australia this weekend, for Tasmania in the women's 50-over competition, against Queensland yesterday and New South Wales tomorrow. Teammate Sophie Devine is playing for Western Australia. The rest of the New Zealand squad head across the Tasman early next week.

Satterthwaite, 31, admits there is an element of the gambler in her "but a little one".

"At times, if you sit back and let things happen, you either get found out or you just cruise along. There is a balance, a fine line, and I don't want to get to the point where it becomes reckless."

She wants her players to believe in themselves and back their ability.

Take the Aussies. New Zealand have won their last three bilateral T20 series, hence Mott's remark.

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In the ODI game, it hasn't always been plain sailing, and in England earlier this year, they were well beaten 3-0 in ODIs.

"In T20, it's a little bit easier when you go hell for leather, it can come off. But sometimes you feel you have less time than you do, so you're probably pushing something you necessarily didn't need to. It's that balance and sticking at it longer."

New Zealand have had the edge over Australia in T20s of late but the growth of the game in Australia means New Zealand must keep pushing themselves.

"The style we've played, we have probably led the game to an extent and other teams are catching up quickly, so it's becoming a lot more competitive."

Satterthwaite knows her first priority will be to keep performing to her high standard. She's averaging 37.36 from her 113 ODIs, with six centuries, and has played 89 T20s, with a strike rate of 94.6. Her offspin is also handy and she's in high demand, with contracts in England's Kia League, Australian women's Big Bash, plus her New Zealand commitments.

"It's pretty exciting how it's grown in the last couple of years. There's certainly a lot of opportunities around, which is brilliant."

She knows she's taking over from a good position and is a huge admirer of Bates' work as skipper.

"Things have been going pretty well over the last few years. I think we're going in a really good direction, and I'd like to put my own little flavour on it and add small touches."

Fixtures
● New Zealand play Australia in three T20 games in Sydney on September 29, Brisbane on October 1 and Canberra on October 5.
● The world T20 tournament is in the Caribbean in November.