The home side have not won a one-day series against Australia since 1999
Amy Satterthwaite, New Zealand’s stand-in captain, hopes they are able to “unleash” fast bowler Lea Tahuhu on Australia in the Rose Bowl one-day series.
Tahuhu, who remains one of the quickest bowlers in the game, has been out of action since injuring her hamstring in the first ODI against England in February and was not included for the T20Is against Australia in the hope that she would be ready for the 50-over matches which begin on Sunday.
It continued a run of injury problems for her after she picked up a side strain during the one-day series in Brisbane last October which meant she missed a chunk of the WBBL with Melbourne Renegades.
“She’s really excited,” Satterthwaite said. “Her management have been working really closely over the last week or so on her progress and I’m sure they’ll look in the next couple of days to see where she is at and hopefully she can be unleashed in this series.
“Everyone will look forward to having her back, we know what energy she brings not only with the ball but just in the group she can really lift us another level. We are excited that if we can get her back on the park what she can do for our side.”
Satterthwaite acknowledged that Tahuhu’s pace alone won’t give Australia sleepless nights but believes New Zealand could have a lot bases covered in their attack if she returned.
“Australia are fortunate enough to have a couple of quicks in their side so I’m sure they get a lot of practice at facing them in the nets so it’s not like something they haven’t seen,” she said. “But think she just brings a little bit of fire about her and it’s nice to have that balance of pace, swing and spin in our side.”
It will be known over the next day or so whether Satterthwaite will continue as captain after Sophie Devine missed the last two T20Is due to fatigue but the interim leader was delighted with the way the team had responded to level the series in Napier.
“Regardless of who it is we are always getting around each other and providing a lot of support,” she said. “Probably more than anything it’s going out on the park and being able to play the way we have to show the work we’ve been doing as a group and where she’s been taking us as a leader, that’s the biggest thing.”
New Zealand have not won the Rose Bowl since 1999 with Australia having taken 17 of the last 18 series. Victory for Australia in the first match of this meeting would give them a world record 22 ODI wins in a row, surpassing the mark they currently share with Ricky Ponting’s 2003 team.
“We saw in the last T20 that any time you beat Australia it’s a really big moment for us at the moment,” Satterthwaite said. “If we were able to trip them up it would be a big moment for us regardless of the record. The Rose Bowl has always been a series we really get up for and it’s one we’d love to get our hands on.”
New Zealand will be without allrounder Frankie Mackay who was ruled out the remainder of the tour with a calf injury sustained during her innings in Napier.