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Aussie women aim for one-day World Cup
16:22 AEST Wed Jan 30 2013

Captain Jodie Fields says passion, competitiveness and unity are the factors that will make in-form Australia a contender for a record sixth women's cricket one-day World Cup title.

The 2013 tournament gets under way in India on Thursday, with the host nation playing West Indies in Mumbai.

The Southern Stars start their campaign on Friday in Cuttack against sixth-ranked Pakistan.

They play further group games against South Africa (ranked eighth) on February 3 and New Zealand (fourth) on February 5, with a Super Sixes phase to follow.

Australia, who are currently ranked second behind defending champion England, have been boosted by good recent form.

A 3-1 win over New Zealand in the last month's Rose Bowl series has been followed up two strong warmup performances in India.

They smashed fifth-ranked West Indies by 135 runs and defeated world No.3 India by five wickets in successive days.

"I've been really happy with how the team has performed against India and the West Indies, we just wanted to be positive here," Fields said.

Fields, one of six Australian players to contest back-to-back World Cups, nominated three reasons why she felt the Southern Stars would again be a frontline contender.

"Our team has got passion, we're a pretty competitive team and also we're quite united and just work well as a team," Fields said.

"Those are strong qualities that help to make a good side."

Wicketkeeper Fields is part of a strong batting lineup that includes Alex Blackwell, dashing opener Meg Lanning, hard-hitting Jess Cameron, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Elyse Villani and Lisa Sthalekar.

Australia have a well balanced attack, with dual international Ellyse Perry leading a seam brigade also featuring Julie Hunter and Sarah Coyte and youngsters Megan Schutt and Holly Ferling.

The spin assault will be spearheaded by renowned run miser Sthalekar and Erin Osborne.

"I think that spin will be important in all matches, most teams seemed to have brought two or three spinners," Fields said.

"But the seamers also seem to be getting a lot out of the wicket too."

Only three nations have ever won a women's World Cup, with Australia claiming five titles, England three and New Zealand one

The last tournament in Australia in 2009 was only the second time in nine campaigns the Southern Stars didn't make the final.

Defending champions England again loom as the team to beat, with New Zealand not far behind and India and West Indies capable of causing upsets on their day.

"England will be the favourites from the 2009 World Cup, but we'll just be focusing on our performance in each game and seeing what we can do," Fields said.


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