Ellyse Perry, the Australia all-rounder, sees the three-match Twenty20 International series against New Zealand as a way for her side to gain some early momentum ahead of the ICC Women's World T20 2018 in November.
"It's a really important three-game series for us especially leading into the [World T20], to get some momentum over earlier now before we go to the West Indies. It's going to be a big challenge," Perry said on Tuesday, 25 September, ahead of the first match on Saturday.
New Zealand and Australia are old rivals, but Perry, 27, said the addition of new faces added to the excitement. "They are a great rival," she said of the White Ferns. "They've got some wonderful players. There is a little bit of unknown about their team with some new players, some fresh and exciting faces for them."
The two uncapped players in Australia's 13-member squad are leg-spinner Georgia Wareham and pacer Tayla Vlaeminck. "Amazing young kids and incredibly talented," was how Perry described them. "I think [it reflects] the depth that we now have in the Australian women's cricket.
I’d love to think that North Sydney Oval is the Australian women’s cricket ground
"Tayla and Georgia are pretty young, but they way they compete and what they've done ... It is nice to have a couple of fresh faces in the squad. That always adds a bit of excitement to the group," she said.
"But also, we've got a lot of familiar faces who have played a lot of cricket together and love playing together – it's a really good blend."
The first of the three T20Is will be played at the North Sydney Oval, the same venue where Perry scored a belligerent 213* – the third highest women's Test score – last year in the women's Ashes, which her side retained.
"It’s a really special ground for all of us to come back to,” she said. "We've got the Boxing Day Test match at the MCG, the New Year’s Test at the SCG (for the men's team) and I’d love to think that North Sydney Oval is the Australian women’s cricket ground. Every year, if we play here, it’s going to be a special event and something people love to come down to."
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