White Ferns firing ahead of Rose Bowl series

NICOLA ABERCROMBIE
Last updated 05:00 09/12/2012
Suzie Bates
Photosport
LEADING BY EXAMPLE: Suzie Bates on her way to 160 not out for Otago.

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It's been more than a decade since the White Ferns last had their hands on the Rose Bowl trophy, but this year they are taking some hot form into the four-match one-day series against Australia.

Usually played at the end of January, the series has been brought forward because of the women's World Cup in India next month.

Katrina Keenan will take the coaching reins for the first time after replacing Gary Stead but captain Suzie Bates is confident it will be a seamless transition.

"It is different and she hasn't been around the team too much before but her communication since she's been on board has been really good.

"She's kind of got the best preparation ... everyone has been playing cricket, the batters are scoring runs and the bowlers are doing well. She's got a team that's prepared."

With the domestic season in full force, the White Ferns have not been able to come together for a training camp before heading to Sydney. But Bates said the team could not be in better shape.

"[The domestic season] has been awesome. Last weekend we had six centuries scored in the one weekend which I can't recall ever happening.

"There have been big hundreds and big team totals, scores over 300 which doesn't happen that often."

The 25-year-old has had a hot bat herself, scoring 160 for Otago against Canterbury last weekend. Fellow White Ferns Sophie Devine, Nicola Browne and Frances Mackay also smacked hundreds.

One player who was not named in the Rose Bowl squad, Natalie Dodd, had two centuries on consecutive days for Wellington and Bates said that with a World Cup approaching, there was plenty of pressure on players to perform.

"Back-to-back hundreds is something you can't really ignore. There's no guarantee this will be the World Cup side.

"But we've got players who have played heaps of international cricket and if we perform the way we can then there's no doubt we can beat Australia."

All four matches will be played in Sydney on December 12, 14, 17 and 19.

White Ferns: Suzie Bates (c), Amy Satterthwaite (vc), Erin Bermingham, Nicola Browne, Rachel Candy, Sophie Devine, Lucy Doolan, Frances Mackay, Katey Martin, Sara McGlashan, Morna Nielsen, Katie Perkins, Rachel Priest, Sian Ruck.

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