Australia Women are the No.1 side in one-day internationals and Twenty20 Internationals, but at the moment they have no trophies to show for it.
They are keen to make amends for that at the ICC Women’s World T20 2018, which they enter as the favourites.
Matthew Mott, the coach, said the team were backing themselves to do well, but know they can’t afford to relax in the unpredictable T20 format, and at this high-pressure stage.
“We’ve always got huge expectations on ourselves as a group,” Mott said on Thursday, 8 November, the eve of their tournament opener against Pakistan in Georgetown, Guyana. “There is no hiding behind the fact we're really disappointed we don't have any World Cups to show for the last couple years.
“Our winning percentage is very high, [but] I think tournament play is a different beast. Our consistency over the last few years is unquestioned, and that shows in the world rankings. [But] we know as well as anyone, we found out the hard way, that you can be playing good cricket and have a bad patch and that can cost you a World Cup.
“We're under no illusions that sometimes the best teams don't win World Cups.”
Australia are hoping that a new, fearless approach, with players given specific roles in the side, will make the difference for them. “We probably played the first couple years I was coach in a pretty conservative manner, and that was something that a couple of World Cup exits brought that to the fore,” said Mott. “We made sure we addressed that.
"We enjoy batting together and complement each other nicely" – Rachael Haynes on her partnership with Meg Lanning, which helped Australia 🇦🇺 win the ICC Women's #WT20 warm-up game against South Africa 🇿🇦.— ICC World Twenty20 (@WorldT20) November 8, 2018
“There is 100% buy-in from the playing group, and you can see that in the way we train, the way we play, the way we conduct ourselves, in all the media the players do, they’re really committed to this.
“So, yes, if we happen to fall over here, we certainly can't say it's because of our approach. We've done everything in our powers to play a good style of T20 cricket, and it's been working in the last 12 months, that's for sure.”
At the same time, Australia have set about balancing this fearless approach with the realities of the conditions in the West Indies, which demand application.
“I think the batters are just going to have to find a different way to score their runs,” said Mott. “I still there are a lot of runs out there if you bat smart and hit the pockets and run hard.
“We're just going to embrace whatever conditions we get, and I think we're a team that can adapt to any conditions.”
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