Time to build momentum ahead of next year's women's World Cup: Mott

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Melbourne, Aug 21 (IANS) Australian women’s team coach Matthew Mott has said that his team needs to play a lot of cricket ahead of the women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in March-April next year after missing a lot of action due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“We need to play some cricket; we haven’t played a lot of cricket basically since that World Cup at the MCG (in March 2020). It’s really important to try and rebuild some of that momentum we had,” said Mott to SEN radio.

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Australia has played just six ODIs and as many T20Is, all against New Zealand. The multi-format series in September against India will be Australia’s first international outing after the tour to New Zealand in April.

“I can tell you I’m sick to death of sitting at my computer just planning and re-planning. It has its place but we love coaching and love getting amongst it and getting on the tools. Myself and (assistant coach) Shelley Nitschke have had to run a programme from up here remotely. We are absolutely frothing to get back throwing balls and talking to players about cricket,” added Mott.

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Australia is ranked first in the ODI and T20I rankings. Though they won the T20 World Cup in 2018 and 2020, Australia will be looking to add the ODI silverware after crashing out of the 2017 World Cup in the semifinals.

The country is in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak. Lockdowns and border closures mean there is no information on a pre-series camp.

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Asked about tackling uncertainty, Mott said, “I heard a great quote recently, that we almost need to make adversity our friend at the moment. Not getting caught up in too much planning, what we’ve got to do is back that we’ve been a pretty successful team over a long period of time. The skills are there and they’ve been working in their individual states and it’s just critical that when we do get together we’ll be ready to play.”

Australia’s bowling will be without their top-ranked bowlers Jess Jonassen (stress injury in her tibia) and Megan Schutt (personal reasons). But the 47-year-old believes that the duo’s absence creates an opportunity for others to step up.

“We won’t have any excuses, we’ve lost some key players but the flip side of that is an extraordinary opportunity for us to see the next generation, especially in the young fast bowlers. Maitlan Brown has moved back to NSW and trained the house down. Ellyse Perry probably hasn’t had the bowling she’s been used to (of late) that she’s had throughout her career so this is another opportunity for her to lead the attack.

“There’s a number of positives, we’ve had such a settled side for so long and to break in has been very difficult. Playing against India is going to be a real test because we know their top order will come hard at a relatively inexperienced attack,” concluded Mott.

–IANS

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