Cricket: White Ferns' Maddy Green excited New Zealand has word-class trio back as World Cup preparation hits full gear


White Fern Maddy Green is excited to have three of New Zealand's most experienced players back together in the ODI side as they build towards the 2022 Cricket World Cup.

The touring side takes on England in the first of five ODI's in Bristol on Thursday night, with three batting supremo's back in the side together for the first time in two years.

Suzie Bates has returned from shoulder surgery and has teamed up with Sophie Devine at the top of the order, with Amy Satterthwaite batting at three in the just-completed T20 series against England.

The trio have all played a hundred games for New Zealand in both limited-overs formats and have a combined 364 ODI internationals.

"They're three of the best players in the world and it'll be great to have them playing 50-over cricket for us," says Green.

"When you've got quality players around you it gives you more confidence which hopefully means we can express ourselves knowing that we have some of the world's best batters standing at the other end."

Over the last three years Bates, Devine and Satterthwaite have played together just once in 12 ODI's.

"I think having Suzie Bates back [missed all cricket last summer after shoulder surgery], she's not our leading run-scorer for no reason, she's incredibly experienced and a quality player, so I'm looking forward to having her back at the top of the order.

"I really enjoy talking about batting with them and learning a lot from them, it's not necessarily their own performances on the park that add value, but it's what they bring off the field, mentoring other players.

"It's great to have them at the top of the order and hopefully putting up some big scores."

With Bates unavailable last season because of injury and captain Devine taking some time off to refresh, the rest of the New Zealand batting line-up had to take up the slack against England and Australia last summer.

The White Ferns managed just two wins from 11 games and Green was one of many that struggled with the bat, averaging just 14 in the five games she played.

"If you'd asked me a few years ago, I would have said I preferred playing 50-over cricket, but a lot of us in the team have had a diet of T20's in the last couple of years, so there's definitely an adjustment coming into 50-over cricket.

"It's great that we're able to have a five-match series over here leading into a really big six months for us with the World Cup in February-March,

"We've talked about it as a group that we've made improvements and we've seen that in the T20's [which England won 2-1] and now it's about doing that for longer going into the ODI format."

The White Ferns pushed England in the just-completed T20 series with the homeside clinching the series on the penultimate ball.

"For us, it's been figuring out our roles, we've got a few new faces in the last couple of years with the likes of Brooke Halliday, who has come in and been really successful especially in the ODI format."

England are the current world champions and will be favourites to defend that title in New Zealand in the new year.

However, New Zealand has had some success against them, winning the last ODI in Dunedin in February.

"For us, we take confidence in that and we know that when we play well we can beat these guys, and we just need to do the basics better for longer.

"I think we're starting to do that and we've made real strides over the winter with our camps and so as a group we're moving forward."

The White Ferns have been in Britain for a month now and Green, who plays for the Wellington Blaze, says they've adjusted to the local conditions.

"They're not too dissimilar from back home, sometimes the wickets don't have as much pace as the Basin Reserve in Wellington but it's been great to be spending so much time together here and learning as we head towards the World Cup."

Green concedes they certainly weren't at their best in the 50-over format against England and Australia last summer and one of their focuses has been building batting partnerships.

"We talked about being more disciplined for longer periods and it's not for a lack of skill, it's just learning how to play 50-over cricket against these top opposition consistently well.

"We can take a lot of confidence from the T20 series but we need to keep being better for longer so we've got to adapt and I think it's going to be a great series."

White Ferns vs England

  • Friday 17 September -  1st ODI, Bristol
  • Sunday 19 September - 2nd ODI, Worcester
  • Wednesday 22 September - 3rd ODI, Leicester
  • Friday 24 September - 4th ODI, Derby
  • Sunday 26 September - 5th ODI, St Lawrence, Kent