New Zealand had a disastrous tour of England. They were at times outplayed by England and South Africa it was hard to tell New Zealand have a talented side at their disposal.
It is little wonder that Suzie Bates stepped down as captain. She is their most important player and the slump in form that covered not only that series but the KSL as well would have concerned most. What they need from her now is the player that scores the important runs, wickets and catches in the field.
Amy Satterthwaite is a great appointment as captain as she is a level-headed player who is rarely distracted by the chaos that can come with the short format.
If New Zealand gets the best out of Bates then they will always be in the game. A player who hits the ball a long way can along with Sophie Devine bat sides out of the game.
Devine is an all-rounder who like Bates hits the ball far. As a bowler has an effective bouncer and is a wise bowler who takes wickets.
When you add into that the exciting Amelia Kerr who is an economical bowler that batters try and survive rather than score runs against there is the core for New Zealand to beat teams like Australia.
Satterthwaite was ranked among the best batters in the world not too long ago. The added responsibility as captain may mean that she finds that form. Will we see her bowl more? She is a handy bowler who seems to be under bowled She needs to back herself in this series.
New Zealand is a hard-working team. They have a few superstars who can take them so far and the fact there isn’t a place for Rachel Priest would suggest they have confidence in them. A top order that has Bates, Devine and Satterthwaite should be enough to put the Australian bowlers under pressure.
Bates, Devine and Satterthwaite all play in the Women’s Big Bash meaning they know the bowlers they will face.
There is too much reliance on the big-name players. That was evident in England when more often than not if the top-order failed then New Zealand capitulated. One reason could be that it was a long tour. That would be being far too kind.
New Zealand needs their junior players to stand up and win matches if they are to have any chance of beating Australia who’s own junior players have WBBL experience and have thrived.
New Zealand has an exceptional record in T20s against Australia. They will be looking to exploit an Australia side that hasn’t had much cricket lately and that probably doesn’t know its best line-up.
New Zealand needs to show that they can go into the ICC World T20 ready to make their mark on that tournament. They can do that by beating their near neighbours Australia and going to the Caribbean with a renewed confidence.
They need the Bates of old to turn up. Without the burden of the captaincy, she should have no problem there.
Maybe a fresh pair of eyes in charge will do them good and in Satterthwaite, they have a good leader.