Ahead of their home series against India, which gets underway with the first One-Day International on January 24, Amy Satterthwaite, the New Zealand captain, has said that the conditions will offer “different challenge” to the Indians.
Satterthwaite captained Melbourne Renegades in the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia where they lost the second semifinal against Sydney Sixers in the Super Over on Saturday (January 19). She will now shift her focus to the series against India. While New Zealand have automatically qualified for the 2019 World Cup as hosts, India are fifth on the ICC Women’s Championship table and would be keen to win all the three ODIs and garner six points to strengthen their chance to directly make it to the World Cup.
“When Indian team plays at home, the conditions suit their spinners but New Zealand wickets do not tend to turn as much,” Satterthwaite told ANI in an email interview. “So, it will be a different challenge.”
The last time India toured New Zealand was in 2006, and only Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami are the remaining members from that squad. Mithali at the pre-departure conference had conceded that the conditions will be new for most players but had said that she depended on the playing experience of the cricketers to handle the demands.
India have beaten New Zealand in their last two meets. In a virtual semifinal in Derby at the 2017 World Cup, Mithali scored a century, Veda Krishnamurthy hit a brisk half-century and then Rajeshwari Gayakwad took 5 for 15 in a massive win. Then the two teams met in the opening game of the 2018 World Twenty20 in Guyana, and Harmanpreet Kaur marked the occasion with a blistering hundred in a 34-run win.
The two teams last met in a bilateral series in Bangalore in 2015 when the hosts won the series 3-2 though the two games that New Zealand prevailed in carried championship points in the 2014-2016 cycle.
“We have not played India in a series since 2015. They have a few new faces as well as their experienced campaigners,” she added. “We know that we will have to be consistent across all three disciplines against a quality Indian side but it is a challenge we are ready for.
“Whenever you are playing a series, you want to win regardless of who the opponent is and the history. This series is no different and especially playing at home, we would love to play well in front of our home crowds,” she continued. “We will have a few days of preparation as a team before our first game on the 24th, which will be a great opportunity to finalise our plans before we take on India.”
Like Satterthwaite, the Indian pair of Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana were also a part of WBBL. The New Zealand skipper said that those who played against the duo in WBBL will have plans in place. “I am sure those that have played WBBL will have plans from playing against them that we will be able to discuss and look to implement.”