For a ground that has only been in existence for 23 years, Coffs Harbour's International Stadium has multiple claims to fame. It's where the Socceroos posted the highest score in the history of international football, piling on a 31-0 win against American Samoa in 2001. Lately, it has become the international home of Austag. Last month it hosted Midnight Oil. In the early days, it was where you went if wanting to catch a rodeo.

But maybe it's best yet? It is where, in November last year, Amanda-Jade Wellington made her international debut. Predictably, with what had been seen of her in domestic cricket, with her first delivery in green and gold she defeated South African champion Mignon du Preez with the most exquisite leg-break.

Australia returns to the ground for the second ODI in this multi-format Ashes series 1-0 up after their win in Brisbane. While she didn't nab a wicket there, it was the 20-year-old Wellington who made herself the talking point across 10 pulsating overs, where all her main tricks - drift and spin - were rolled out routinely, with edges beaten time and again.

To get picked, Wellington had to supplant incumbent wrist spinner Kristen Beams, a dozen years her senior but Australia's most effective operator at the World Cup. But the performance was so good that it builds the case that she may already be the most potent weapon that skipper Rachael Haynes has at her disposal.

Mark Robinson, the England coach, has a slightly different take. Acknowledging that Wellington is a "quality bowler" he was quick to add that the wicket "properly ragged" that lent her considerable assistance. "We're really happy how we played her with all the cards in her favour," he said. "For us not to lose a wicket and to take her for 40 we were really happy. I wouldn't expect many of the wickets to spin to that extent."

Haynes, by contrast, believes Wellington could do the same wherever she was turning her arm over. "She has shown she can turn it on any wicket," she said. "I don't think she is a one trick pony. She has got more up her sleeve than just the leg-spinner."

And she might have to. Indications on match eve are that the Coffs Harbour ground staff have produced a belter: hard, flat and starkly off-white in colour. There is less margin for error as well, the boundaries wound in noticeably from the opening fixture, especially down the ground.

Robinson is comfortable with this adjustment, having himself directed the ropes to be set at the minimum permitted length of 55 yards in the English summer of 2016 to encourage Nat Sciver to start trying to take down attacks. She did then and has barely stopped doing so since.

"I just think for the good of the women's game it's a better spectacle," he said, "It allows the girls confidence to be able to swing and not over-hit."

Under Robinson, this England side has averaged two sixes per innings in ODIs since when the previous Women's Ashes were contested in 2015. In the two years prior to that, they were hitting just one maximum every four games. It shows that if afforded the chance to bat first, they have the tools to go big. But Australia do too, Haynes insists.

It will be England's first game under lights since July 2016, and one where the pressure is dialled up further for the fact that they aren't the current trophy holders. With 16 points available across the seven rubbers, England needs to claim ten of to win. If they go down here, they will be nearing the stage where they need to run the table thereafter.

But that sort of difficulty doesn't concern their captain Heather Knight, who recalled how little room they had to move after losing their World Cup opener against India before winning every match that followed to unexpectedly lift that trophy. "We made a habit of doing well when our backs were against the wall and that's the same situation now," she said.

Both captain and coach expressed frustration at not finding a way to win on Sunday after reducing Australia to 87 for 4 chasing 229, before having eventual match-winner Alex Blackwell dropped by Alex Hartley in her follow-through when she was 35. "We were gutted," Robinson said. "We should have won that game. If we took that catch, we win."

It is expected they will go into the fixture with the same XI. Australia too may do that. Haynes signalled that a harder and bouncier surface should provide a more meaningful opportunity to Tahlia McGrath, the seaming all-rounder used for only one over on Sunday with spin mainly deployed to win.

She acknowledged that if conditions are favourable then more runs will need to come than on Sunday, Blackwell then the only Southern Star to pass 50. For that, she will hope Ellyse Perry can repeat her back-to-back half-centuries from their last visit here in 2016.

Upon her arrival at the ground yesterday, the omnipresent all-rounder gushed about her fondness for the place. Little wonder with that record. If she and Wellington can make Coffs Harbour their own again on Thursday, Australia will already be a long way towards retaining their trophy.