14 Nov 2018

Cricket: White Ferns ready to take on Australian 'bullies'

9:45 am on 14 November 2018

New Zealand allrounder Sophie Devine has labelled Australia the "bullies" of women's international cricket.

But she insists it's a respectful remark as her team chase the upset win required to stay in contention at the World T20 in the West Indies.

The White Ferns' hopes will virtually disappear if they're beaten by three-time champions Australia in Guyana on Thursday, having lost their opening match to unbeaten India by 34 runs.

Sophie Devine

Sophie Devine Photo: Photosport

Victory would open up group B but defeat would hand the Australians and Indians a saloon passage to the semi-finals, leaving the third-ranked Kiwis playing for pride against lowly Ireland and Pakistan.

Devine was part of the New Zealand squad swept 3-0 in Australia in their T20 series five weeks ago.

She knows the challenge that awaits against a team who swatted aside Pakistan and Ireland in their tournament-opening matches last week.

"They've been typical Australians haven't they? They've been bullies," Devine said.

"That's why they're at the top of the world at the moment. They've got great depth. We're fortunate enough to play a lot of cricket against them and alongside them in the women's Big Bash League.

"We're absolutely pumped for it, it's a one-off game that is huge for us."

Before the recent series whitewash, New Zealand had won seven of the previous nine trans-Tasman matches in the shortest format.

Coach Haidee Tiffen has demanded her bowlers aren't as full as their opening loss at the same venue, when they had early control before Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur snatched it away with 103 off 51 balls.

"When we bowl well we can be quite challenging," Tiffen said.

"When you bowl back (of a length) and don't allow batters to get under it, it is a real challenge to score runs here.

"If we play a courageous, brave brand of cricket and back ourselves, I think it will be a really good game."

New Zealand finished runners up at the first two World T20 tournaments, in 2009 and 2010, but haven't featured in a final since.