NZ series looms as 2022 World Cup warm-up

·2-min read

Australian coach Matthew Mott is determined to make the most of his six-game tour of New Zealand starting Sunday.

After all, it will probably be their last overseas tour until they return to Aotearoa in 12 months in their bid to retain the Women's World Cup.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging in much of the cricket-playing world, even if Australia and New Zealand are holding the deadly virus at bay.

After these T20 and ODIs, Mott says the visit of India in September is the only international cricket Australia is likely to play before the 2022 World Cup, though some of his stars will head to India and England for their domestic seasons.

An Australia-Australia A series has also been mooted for August to help fill the gap.

"Of course we'd like some more international cricket," Mott told AAP.

"But in terms of the disadvantage, it is probably bigger for other nations that potentially don't have domestic cricket that's as strong.

"So we'll be going to the World Cup at least on a level playing field with everyone else, and then you could argue an advantage because we'd still be playing high quality cricket."

Over the next fortnight, Australia will play T20s at Hamilton, Napier and Auckland's Eden Park, before three ODIs in Mount Maunganui.

Ellyse Perry returns, as does fellow fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck, creating a talent logjam for Mott.

"The batters won't change. Unless there's an injury, of course," he said, locking in his first-choice top six for the T20s.

"Tayla Vlaeminck is a real key player for us but she won't play every game.

"We'll have a look at our spin and pace balance ... we might make changes that we can bring in and out that we won't lessen the impact of our squad."

Australia has a commanding short-form record against New Zealand, claiming the Rose Bowl for winning the trans-Tasman ODI series on the last 16 occasions.

"We just want to go out there and make sure that we play true to ourselves," Mott said.

"The Kiwis give us a really good game of cricket and we've had some fantastic duels and battles over the last couple of years.

"We want to win it, but we also want to work out in one day cricket what the right formula is for these conditions, with a year ahead mindset."