No Meg Lanning, no Ellyse Perry, no problem for Australia. There could not have been a more emphatic way for Australia to equal the world record for consecutive ODI wins than the performance they produced against New Zealand in Brisbane, both in the context of the individual match itself and also as a reminder of the depth they have built over the last three years.
Lanning’s century sealed the series on Monday but she tweaked her hamstring part-way through the chasing masterclass, meaning she was unable to be part of the XI that equaled the 21-match run of Ricky Ponting’s team in 2003. However, Rachael Haynes slipped seamlessly into the captaincy, as she has done in the past, and then helped set the tone with 96 and an opening stand of 144 alongside Alyssa Healy.
As with a lot of sportspeople and teams, the Australians have insisted on not building up the winning streak beyond trying to win the next game but Haynes said the significance of what they had achieved – and run they have no intention of stopping, although when their next ODI will be is uncertain – is something they will savour.
“It will probably be one of those things we will reflect back on and are really proud of the achievement,” Haynes said. “It’s been across the course of a few years and I think 20-odd players have been a part of it and contributed to the success. It’s a really special achievement.
“I definitely followed the men’s side growing up, they had a pretty extraordinary period of success so to hear our group compared to that is really special. When you are playing, it’s really hard to get your head around how significant it is, but definitely from our point of view it won’t be lost on us.”
Winning this series without Perry and this match without Lanning has reinforced that Australia have built a talent pool not seen before in the women’s game and it has set a new bar for oppositions to reach. Annabel Sutherland was promoted to No. 3 and, after a sluggish start, gave further glimpses of the talent that has her compared to Perry while allrounder Tahlia McGrath, playing her first match since 2017, came in and swiped 29 off 11 balls.
“It was really pleasing today that we were able to put out a performance like that even without arguably two of the best players in the world not walking out,” Haynes, one of four players to appear in all 21 victories, said. “It’s really nice to know our depth is there and those players are more than capable of performing on any given day.
“The selectors, Matthew [Mott] and Meg have done really well bringing new players into that environment who are now becoming important for the squad. It’s a really positive sign for the team and what’s ahead even though we aren’t sure when you next game will be. I think that’s the standout for me, we haven’t relied on one or two players, there’s been new players brought in and people have stood up at different times.”
For New Zealand coach Bob Carter, who had the job on an interim capacity when Australia won the 2019 ODI series 3-0, it was another reminder of the gap that needs bridging but he was hopeful his players would emerge better for the experience.
“Australia do have depth, it’s a great strength of their team,” he said. “There’s no surprises when you start talking about them not being beaten for three years and they brought in a couple of new players today. It’s something for us to look at and say are we building our own depth and how are we going to keep competing with Australia as we head towards the World Cup.
“It’s about what we can take from it [the series]. We are very aware of the strength of Australia and what we have to do more consistently. Our players will be stronger for this, sometimes you learn a lot more from failure than you do from winning so hopefully we’ll be able to rebuild.”
At the moment, the game is watching whether anyone can catch Australia.