Hawke's Bay cricketer Rosemary Mair's high excitement levels were easy to detect in the countdown to her Central Hinds' team's one-day match against India at Napier's Nelson Park today.
"The Hinds don't often play in Napier and these type of internationals are rare too," the strike bowler and middle order batswoman explained.
Mair's confidence levels were almost as high when quizzed about the hosts chances of being competitive against the tourists.
"India are an in-form team. They have a few key batswomen who performed well at the World Cup and we will have to set plans for them. Hannah [captain Rowe] and Jess [vice-captain Watkin] played against them at the World Cup. Our girls will learn a lot from them and will take the lead from them," Mair said.
A former Taradale High School student who is an A grade squash player during the winter, Mair, 20, agreed the fixture will benefit the Hinds when they return to domestic competition.
"We haven't had the best 20-over campaign. But we hope to do well in the 50-over campaign during the rest of the season."
Last month Mair captained the Central Districts under-21 team who finished second to hosts Auckland at their national tournament. While she is happy with her bowling, Mair said she is keen to improve her strike rate and power hitting with the bat.
A Hawke's Bay Cricket Association's female development officer, Mair knows a competitive display from the Hinds today will do a lot as far as encouraging more young females to take up the game.
Rowe will make her Central Hinds captaincy debut in the match.
The Manawatu 22-year-old said the match will be a stimulating opportunity for the Central Hinds, one of the best performed one-day teams this summer and second on the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield points table with just four rounds to play before the national final.
"It's so exciting for us as a group to play a world-class side like India," Rowe said. "The girls are well aware that it's going to be a real challenge, and are excited to see how they go.
"Opportunities like this don't come around very often, so to get the chance to play with and lead such an exciting group of young Hinds is awesome. It's a real privilege to be involved in, let alone captain such a historical game for the Hinds."
An allrounder, Rowe, was named vice-captain of the Central Hinds last summer and steps up into the shoes of regular skipper Anlo van Deventer who is unavailable due to work commitments.
Wairarapa's Kerry Tomlinson and Taranaki's Kate Baxter are also unavailable due to prior appointments as team manager and coach, respectively, of the CD U18 women's side which will be in action in Wellington at their annual tournament.
"It's a scary feeling thinking of captaining against such a destructive side, but with the help of Jess Watkin and [CD U21 captain] Rosemary Mair I'm sure we will work out some good plans, and really look to challenge India as much as we can," Rowe said.
The swing bowler has faced India in a one-day match just once before, a 186-run loss suffered by the White Ferns in Derbyshire at the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup.
Rowe also made her Twenty20 International debut against India in 2015, a six-wicket win by the White Ferns in Bengaluru.
Today's bonus fixture forms a tour warm-up for India Women who are in camp training in Hawke's Bay ahead of their three-ODI, three-T20 International Series against the White Ferns.
The first ODI of that series, a televised day/night game under lights at Napier's McLean Park, will begin at 2pm on Thursday.
The last time the Central Hinds had an opportunity to play a one-day match against an international team was in November 2000, also at Napier's Nelson Park, where they played two warm-up fixtures against The Netherlands during that summer's build-up to the 2000 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.
The last and only previous occasion on which the Central Hinds played India Women was on January 23, 1982, 14-1/2 years before Rowe would be born in the same city - Palmerston North.
A 60-over World Cup warm-up at Manawaroa Park, India won that one-off encounter by 52 runs thanks to a five-wicket bag to leg-spinner Shubhangi Kulkarni, against a Hinds side which featured Jackie Clark, Elizabeth Signal, Penny Kinsella, Trudy Anderson and Viv Sexton, all contemporary or future White Ferns.
Rowe debuted for the Central Hinds in 2011/12 when she was still at Palmerston North Girls' High School and has since played 58 one-day matches and 41 Twenty20 matches for the Central Hinds, and 17 One-Day internationals and 15 Twenty20 internationals for the White Ferns.
Rowe is the sole Central Hinds representative to have been named in the 13-strong White Ferns ODI squad to play India in the upcoming tour.
The full Hinds team for the match, which begins at 11am and has free admission, is:
Hannah Rowe (captain, Manawatū), Jess Watkin (vice-captain, Whanganui), Natalie Dodd (wicketkeeper, Taranaki), Esther Lanser (Wairarapa), Rosemary Mair (Hawke's Bay), Mikaela Greig (Manawatū), Monique Rees (Wairarapa), Claudia Green (Nelson), Georgia Atkinson (Wairarapa), Melissa Hansen (Wairarapa), Taila Hurley (Taranaki), Emily Cunningham ( Taranaki). Head Coach: Jamie Watkins (Taranaki).