Aussie women told to embrace T20 WC hype

Scott Bailey
Australia have been dominant in T20 internationals following on from their World Cup win in 2018

Australia coach Matthew Mott will tell his team to embrace the significant expectation on them during the home Twenty20 Women's World Cup next month.

Mott and Australian selectors will unveil their 15-player squad on Thursday, with minimal changes expected to be named from the side that won the title in 2018.

Few national teams will play with the same amount of expectation from home crowds in Australia this year.

Organisers are desperate to sell out the MCG for the final on March 8 and players are well aware that Australia's qualification will dictate the crowd figure.

The Australians are ranked world No.1 by some margin, having won 22 of their past 23 games in all limited-overs formats.

"I'll be telling the girls to embrace that expectation and enjoy the moment as well," Mott, who has officially re-signed for two more years, told AAP.

"We don't want to try and fast forward and get through to the semi-finals.

"I think there is a great quote from Billie Jean King about expectation being a privilege. It's not afforded to that many.

"Every tournament we go into, we are always talked about as potential favourites. Last World Cup, everyone was saying the same things.

"It will just be another level again because it is in our backyard."

Freeing up Australia's players from any added pressure will be crucial to their success.

The team's batting relies on a free-flowing approach, with the top-four encouraged to be aggressive wherever possible.

The path to the final will not be as clear as most think.

India are Australia's first opponents and the Sophie Devine-led New Zealand are also in a group where only two will progress.

"To say there's not extra pressure is not telling the truth. There is," Mott said.

"But it's how we harness it and use that expectation in a positive way.

"We've just got make sure our players have the freedom to go out there and express themselves and play well.

"The players just need to make sure they don't get distracted by having to make the final for crowd numbers."

Up to 13 members of Australia's champions from two years ago could be selected in the Meg Lanning-captained squad, with Sophie Molineux available after a mental health break.

Elyse Villani has pushed her case for a recall alongside incumbent Erin Burns in a recent Australia A series.

Molly Strano, Heather Graham and Belinda Vakarewa are the other potential selections with Jess Duffin unavailable for a national team return after she announced she is pregnant.

The team will come together for a tri-series involving India and England at the end of the month, before the tournament proper begins.