New Zealand women March 7, 2009

Big-hitting New Zealand eye second title

The powerful Suzie Bates is not afraid to hit over the top © Getty Images

The only other team to have won the World Cup this decade, New Zealand are a consistent side who can certainly provide a strong challenge for the trophy. Their experienced captain Haidee Tiffen, who won the trophy on home soil in 2000, has no doubts that they will progress into the Super Sixes. She has good reason, too.

Buoyed by their showing in the Rose Bowl, where they had taken a 2-0 lead before drawing 2-2, New Zealand's team have what it takes to go all the way and could beat Australia in the group stage. They will almost certainly overcome South Africa and West Indies, so their opening match against Australia becomes a crunch competition for taking carry-over points.

A powerful unit, they have an imposing presence and a battery of exciting young all-round talent. Names such as Suzie Bates, Lucy Doolan, Beth McNeill, Amy Satterthwaite - the list goes on. Tiffen will be keen to add to her silverware.

Know your competition

Australia are the side that New Zealand know best. Their annual duels appear to have been one-sided for Australia for years on end, but the matches are closer than a casual glance would appear. They are set for even more interesting tussles from the kick-off.

South Africa should not pose too much of a threat for the White Ferns.

West Indies will be something of an unknown quantity for New Zealand but again should be conquered.

Stars of 2009

Nicola Browne: Happy to play inventive shots such as the paddle andreverse paddle, the tall Browne is one of a host of exciting all-round talents for New Zealand and their premier allrounder.

Suzie Bates: Also an Olympic basketballer, the powerful Bates is a talented and natural athlete and a great motivator in the field. Not afraid to hit over the top with the bat, her bowling is also forceful.

Lucy Doolan: An exciting young allrounder who can spin the ball and is very inventive with the bat.

Sophie Devine: An explosive allrounder who plays the game with her heart and soul. A very competitive player that can clear any boundary she is faced with.

Squad: Haidee Tiffen (capt), Sarah Tsukigawa, Nicola Browne, Sohphie Devine, Aimee Mason, Suzie Bates, Abby Burrows, Lucy Doolan, Sara McGlashan (wk), Beth McNeill, Katey Martin, Rachael Priest, Amy Sattherwaite, Kate Pulford.

Group fixtures

March 8 - Australia v New Zealand, North Sydney Oval
March 10 - New Zealand v West Indies, Bankstown
March 12 - New Zealand v South Africa, Bradman Oval

Jenny Roesler is a former assistant editor at Cricinfo