Southern Stars coach Cathryn Fitzpatrick has left no stone unturned in preparing for her team’s World Twenty20 semi-final, picking the brain of men’s coach Darren Lehmann on the Dhaka conditions days ago.
But she thinks the experience of her two-time defending champions will be the biggest factor when her team meet the West Indies on Thursday for a spot in the final.
Australia’s women, who have played all of their group matches in the north-eastern Bangladesh city of Sylhet, travelled to Dhaka on Tuesday ahead of their semi.
Fitzpatrick accepts adjusting to the new conditions at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium will play a part in determining who gets the upper hand in the semi-final and final.
It’s why she pulled Lehmann aside for a chat when the two teams were guests at the Australian High Commission in Dhaka just before the tournament started.
“We had a chat, we caught up at the start (after) the boys had played their warmup games at the ground,” Fitzpatrick told AAP.
“We always like to chat about the game when we get a chance to.
“But there’s subtle differences between the (men’s and women’s) games.
“A guy might be six foot six and bowling 140km/h, which is a lot different to a girl that is pushing six foot and bowling 120.
“Those subtle differences we take into account. But we’ll assess as best we can and hopefully we’ll get it right.”
Perhaps the biggest advantage for her talented squad is the experience remaining from the Australian team who took the World T20 trophy in Sri Lanka two years ago plus momentum they’ve built with three straight wins following a first-up loss to New Zealand.
“You don’t want your players out there thinking ‘oh we’ll be OK because we’ve been here before’,” said Fitzpatrick.
“You want them in the game.
“But I think the experience has got to be an advantage, without a doubt.”
After losing to New Zealand by seven runs, Australia scraped past South Africa in a nail-biter before recording monster wins over Ireland and Pakistan – in which they scored their two highest T20 totals.
The monster batting displays, which included skipper Meg Lanning became the first Australian woman to hit a T20 century, have given Fitzpatrick confidence that the squad is peaking at the right time – even if she is still undecided on her final eleven, having made changes to the team in each game to date.
“We’ve mixed a few things up with our batting order, and obviously the scorecard reflects that,” she added.
“It’s a pretty good position to be in.”