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Lea Tahuhu Returns As New Zealand Ready To Take On Australia At Home

New Zealand pace-spearhead Lea Tahuhu, who was earlier ruled out of the England series due to hamstring injury has returned to the squad for the upcoming home series against Australia. However, former captain and the highest run-scorer in the shortest format, Suzie Bates will remain on the sidelines as she is still not recovered yet from her shoulder injury which she sustained in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) last year.

Youngsters Brooke Halliday and Fran Jonas, who made their debuts in the ODI series against England recently, have been added to the T20I squad for the three-match series against Australia. Halliday scored back-to-back half-centuries in her first two ODI matches whereas Jonas, yet to make her debut in the T20Is, earned her maiden call-up.

However, she hasn’t been named in the ODI squad as their key pacer Lea Tahuhu has returned for the three-match ODI series as well. With the ICC ODI World Cup will take place within a year, the speedster wouldn’t be featured for T20Is to keep a check on her workload management. The ODI team will also witness another change after the series opener when Hannah Rowe makes way for Leigh Kasperek as well.

However, all three T20Is are all double-headers alongside the men’s matches against Bangladesh, starting at the Seddon Park on Sunday (March 28). Meanwhile, with the final game of the series, Sophie Devine will become the third cricketer from the country to play 100 T20Is, after her teammates Suzie Bates and Amy Satterthwaite.

The three-match ODI series (Rose Bowl series) will take place at Bay Oval in Tauranga. Australia currently holds the trophy having thrashed New Zealand 3-0 at home in their first international series since the COVID-19 imposed break.

“We’re up for the challenge against Australia. To be the best, you have to beat the best and we know we’re going to have to be at the very top of our game,” said head coach Bob Carter.

“Brooke and Fran have come in and impressed everyone. Brooke’s performances first-up against England showed she’s got what it takes and we’re excited to give her more opportunities at this level. Fran has fitted in extremely well and shown a real willingness to learn and grow as a cricketer – her youthful exuberance is infectious,” Bob Carter further added.

However, the team will be in a week-long camp to “observe how they go about their business”, NZC said in a release.

“It’s a great opportunity to see how the BlackCaps inner sanctum go about their work,” said Sophie Devine. “As a team they’ve managed a sustained period of success, so any little insights I can glean and take back to the White Ferns camp will be invaluable.”

“I’ve also done short stints with the Silver Ferns and Black Ferns over the past few months with an eye to developing our own team environment. The chance to connect with other elite female athletes is important for our own learning and growth. Both the Silver Ferns and Black Ferns are world champions in their respective codes, so to experience those team environments has been great. To play 100 T20s will be a really special occasion and I’m excited to join the club alongside Suzie and Amy,” further added Devine.

New Zealand Squad:

T20I: Sophie Devine (C), Amy Satterthwaite (VC), Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Frankie Mackay, Katey Martin (WK), Thamsyn Newton, Hannah Rowe

ODI: Sophie Devine (C), Amy Satterthwaite (VC), Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Frankie Mackay, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin (WK), Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu



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