How Australia are 'living and breathing' new era

Scott Bailey

Australia's women's cricketers say they're finally living and breathing their own aggressive philosophies as they go about restocking their trophy cabinet at this month's World Twenty20.

Guilty of relying too much on their own talent in recent years according to coach Matthew Mott, the Australians will take a new approach into the Caribbean tournament after surrendering the title to the West Indies two years ago.

Widely regarded as the world's best women's team, Australia enter Saturday's opener against Pakistan with 16 straight wins across all formats but without either the one-day World Cup or T20 trophy in their hands.

But things have changed since last year's ODI semi-final World Cup exit to India, as Australia aim to claim their fourth World T20 victory in the last five attempts.

"A couple of years ago we may have spoken about wanting to play more attacking and aggressive cricket whereas now we've actually been doing that," quick bowler Megan Schutt told AAP.

"I just think we're finally living and breathing the words we have been talking about in the media for a long time, we have the depth in our batting line-up to do that."

Meg Lanning will lead Australia's World T20 campaign. Pic: Getty

Those changes include the dangerous Alyssa Healy moving to the top of the order, where she's averaged 30.84 at a strike rate of 138.75 since the promotion.

She's partnered by Beth Mooney, while Ashleigh Gardner is striking at above 150.00 this year at No.3.

Then the stroke making of Meg Lanning, Elyse Villani, Ellyse Perry and Rachael Haynes appears equipped to maintain the momentum.

"I think just the players themselves embraced the need to be a bit more adventurous and play a bit more fearlessly," Mott said.

"Before we were probably relying on the fact we had a lot of depth and the most talented team and we weren't playing the brand of cricket the new era demanded.

"We probably sat back and thought if we play well we should have most things covered. But I think world cricket has evolved so if you're not 100 per cent on you're very vulnerable, particularly in the T20 format."

Mott has also told his bowlers to arm themselves with more variations with the ball, as the Aussies face a difficult group path to the finals.

Young spinners Georgia Wareham and Sophie Molineux have emerged as prominent wicket-takers on the slow pitches, while Schutt is the world's No.1 T20 bowler.

They are in a group against one-day world champions India and the ever-dangerous New Zealand, who have the world's top-ranked women's bat in Suzie Bates.

Australia's history at the big tournaments

The Aussies go into the tournament after 16 straight wins across all formats but without the one-day World Cup or World T20 in their trophy cabinet. Won the tournament in 2010, 2012 and 2014 but were shocked by the West Indies in 2016 when Hayley Matthews and Stafanie Taylor took the game away from them. England won the only other tournament in 2009.

Australia's chances at the World T20

Should cruise through the opening two group games against Pakistan and Ireland but will need to beat one of New Zealand or India in their following two matches to progress to the semi-finals. Australia beat the White Ferns 3-0 in but New Zealand had won eight of 11 previously and have the world's best T20 bat in Suzie Bates at their disposal. The Aussies also beat India earlier this year but their bowlers would be dangerous on the slower wickets. Meanwhile, England and West Indies are favoured to emerge out of their group, which also includes South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Players to watch

Alyssa Healy has been given the freedom to take the game on at the top of the innings and has averaged 30.84 at a strike rate of 138.75 since moving to opener at the start of last year. Ellyse Perry is still the world's best allrounder and tends to stand up in the big tournaments. Quick Megan Schutt heads into the competition as the world's No.1 ranked T20 bowler, having developed more variations to her usual inswing in the past year.

Emerging stars

Ash Gardner has developed into one of the hardest-hitting bats in the world after whacking a 47-ball century for the Sydney Sixers in the opening weekend of the Women's Big Bash League last summer. Aged 21, she's striking at 152.71 at No.3 for Australia this year. Twenty-year-old Sophie Molineux also looks to have worked her way into the side with the ball after taking 13 wickets at an average of seven across three ODIs and three T20s against Pakistan last month.

Australia's schedule (all times AEDT)

v Pakistan, Saturday, November 10, 7am

v Ireland, Monday, November 12, 7am

v New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov 14, 11am

v India, Sunday November 18, 2am

Semi-final, Friday November 23, Time TBC

Final, Sunday November 25, 11am

Potential XI

Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney, Ashleigh Gardner, Meg Lanning (capt), Elyse Villani, Rachael Haynes, Ellyse Perry, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Jess Jonassen, Megan Schutt. Reserves: Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Georgia Wareham, Tayla Vlaeminck