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Women's cricket team eye World Cup options
Adrian Warren
15:44 AEST Tue Dec 11 2012

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 trans-Tasman rivals clash in four one-day internationals in Sydney eight days, starting at the SCG on Wednesday, 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 told AAP.

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Injured bowler Julie Hunter has been replaced by Sharon Millanta, with Lauren Ebsary the one player dropped for the Rose Bowl series in which Australia will operate with a squad of 13, one less than at the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

They have won 20 of the previous 25 series, with world No.4 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."

Pace bowler and dual international Ellyse Perry was out of action last weekend with calf soreness, but is expected to be available for the series after bowling in the nets on Tuesday.


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