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Preview by Jenny Thompson
March 7, 2008
New Zealand may have just succumbed to their first bilateral defeat on home soil by England, but they had hardly any time to dwell on it: three days later they had their first Twenty20 win against Australia.
Now they are aiming for their first Rose Bowl win of the decade and will hope to use the momentum of the Twenty20 victory. "The performance in the field was one of the best I've been involved in with the White Ferns," said their captain Haidee Tiffen. "It sets up the series really well. Our bowlers will have to work hard and we will look to our top five batsmen to bat through the innings. We will have to play well consistently in order to set big scores or chase down totals."
Australia - who had to fight for a 2-2 draw as a surging England uncharacteristically challenged them at home - have made changes, too: axing Kris Britt and Melissa Bulow. They have brought in debutantes Delissa Kimmince and Renee Chappell, who have had a strong state summer.
New Zealand named two separate squads for England and Australia, mainly through unavailability - some working players cannot afford two series off while Suzie Bates has Olympic basketball commitments - but while weakened in some parts, trying new players gives them options ahead of next year's World Cup.
Tiffen is hoping to be fit after undergoing a hernia operation weeks ago, then tearing some scar tissue going "too hard out" in the England series. "It was really disappointing not playing all of the games," she says, having played two out of five. She played in Thursday's Twenty20, though and she's feeling better all the time.
She knows what they need to work on - fielding and batting. "We didn't do the basics as well as we can against England. We dropped chances, we lost wickets in pairs, those are the sorts of things we need to address."
Australia's captain Karen Rolton added: "The one-day series should be a great contest and we're really looking forward to the challenge over the next couple of weeks."
The Rose Bowl Series starts on Saturday with the first of five one-day internationals, all in Lincoln, Christchurch. It promises to be a tightly fought contest - the last two series have been close although the scorelines may not reflect that. New Zealand will hope it's their turn at last, against a strong Australia.