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November 8, 2018

Meg Lanning

Georgetown, Guyana

Q. Have you guys picked an 11 for tomorrow?
MEG LANNING: No, not yet. It's going to be a tough selection. Sort of feel like we've got a pretty good idea, but, yeah, just want to get through training today and then we'll make a final call. Definitely going to be pretty tough.

Q. Did that warmup match throw up any surprises for you and change your thinking in any way?
MEG LANNING: Look, it probably complicated thing to be honest. Tayla Vlaeminck bowled extremely well. I think everybody did. I guess for us it's a great thing that everyone is able to be effective in these conditions bowling-wise.

Whatever mix we do go with, we're confident they'll be able to do the job.

Q. Which way are you sort of leaning?
MEG LANNING: Oh, we're not sure, to be honest. Yeah, we found that the pace has been really effective sort of bowling into the wicket and trying to hit the stumps, but we've got spinners who can that, as well. We feel like we've got that variety and the attack that's going to be effective.

It just comes down to matchups I guess and what we think is going to be most effective against Pakistan first up.

Q. We also saw Sophie missed the other a day's warmup. Is she all good to go?
MEG LANNING: Yeah, yeah, she's got to get through training today. She will be out there running around, so assuming that all goes fine she'll be available for selection. Hopefully, yeah, we've got the full 15 to pick our team from.

Q. Rachael mentioned she felt like the conditions the other night were a bit similar to Malaysia. Does that mean that's been really good preparation for you guys?
MEG LANNING: Yeah, I think that series over in Malaysia has worked out really well for us. We had to adjust a little bit over there to get used to it, but once we did I thought we played really well. The conditions over here are similar, sort of skidding on and need to sort of play nice and straight as a batter.

Yeah, in hindsight it's sort of worked out very well that we played in very similar conditions and we feel like we're sort of ready to go for the first game here.

Q. Just physically how do you handle these conditions, the humidity and the heat?
MEG LANNING: Another reason why the tour in Malaysia was excellent preparation for us. It was really hot there as well and humid as well. Yeah, we're as fit as we've ever been as a squad. I think so far we've handled the conditions well.

We've had some training sessions here to get used to it. I don't think that's going to play a part for us. I think we're good to go, and we've shown that we can handle the heat I guess. Yeah, we'll be right to go.

Q. Guys, it would be no surprise if Australia went into a tournament like this as favorites, but now you're going into this, according to the FICA report, as the only fully professional setup in the world. Was that sort of talked about much, and also the fact that there are no major -- you know the report I'm talking about? The only one really. Does that I guess not increase the pressure, but the danger of there being the haves and the have-nots in world cricket?
COACH MATTHEW MOTT: Oh, look, I think it's a journey a lot of teams are on. Yeah, we're probably at the start of that curve. We're very proud of the system that we've created over the last few years and Cricket Australia in particular have done a wonderful job.

But I think you see leagues popping up round? The world. The English league is going well, and our league at home is fantastic as well.

The next frontier is probably India perhaps getting their own league. That will just grow the game immensely. We can't do anything about anyone else's setup. We have done a lot in a very short space of time, and our space has been really strong foundations for a long time in women's cricket. Certainly progressed a lot in the last couple years with increased funding in the programs we've got ave in place.

Hopefully other team are aspiring towards that.

Q. And the fact that you're seeing that as having the only professional setup, but with no major world trophies in the cabinet at the moment, does that kind of increase expectations for this tournament?
COACH: We've always got huge expectations on ourselves as a group. There is no hiding behind the fact we're really disappointed we don't have any World Cups to show for the last couple years. But, you know, our winning percentage is very high. I think tournament play is a different beast. I think our consistency over the last few years is unquestioned, and that shows in the world rankings.

We know as well as anyone, we found out the hard way, you can be playing good cricket and have a bad patch and can cost you a World Cup. We're under no illusions that sometimes the best teams don't win World Cups. That's happened across the world before.

But we'll do everything in our powers to make sure when the pressure is on we make really good decisions in critical moments. That's all we can really do.

Q. How deliberate was the scheduling of the Pakistan conditions in Malaysia considering conditions are going to be so similar?
COACH: I would like to say it was a touch of genius, but the way of the ICC, we only have a window, and that was Pakistan's choice, to be honest. Yeah, I think it was great for us and it worked out really well.

As Meg said, it was really hot there. I think it's almost a relief here, especially the time of the day that we're praying. They've really well-conditioned the players. It was fantastic opposition. I think Pakistan put up a really good fight and the scoreline doesn't suggest that.

As a batting group it was probably as hard as we've had to work for a long time. Tested all our resolve in different conditions. So really was a great buildup and just timing that we come straight to here.

We've also had a good little break as well and certainly our time in Antigua was really important, but now we're in game mode and everyone is ready to go. Yeah, we're really looking forward to Pakistan.

Q. Just line of thought from the warmup games, considering especially in Guyana the wickets are slightly sluggish, and hitting the ball over, clear very of the 65-yard boundary doesn't seem to happen. Have a lot of 60-yard shots. Is there a school of thought where if the wicket is not as batting friendly there should be variations with the boundaries?
COACH: Not really. I just think it's going to take a different style the cricket. We've played on some great wickets back in Australia against New Zealand, and the batters had some fun there because you beat the boundary and you get 4.

I think the batters are just going to have to find a different way to score their runs. I still there are a lot of runs out there if you bat smart and hit the pockets and run hard.

Yeah, that's not for us to talk about really. Our field is different. It plugs a little bit. But we've had a game on it. We understand it and we've talked a lot about our approach to it. There are no excuses from our point of view. Whatever the conditions are served up, I think we're well equipped to deal with them.

I think we're just going to embrace whatever conditions we get, and I think we're a team that can adapt to any conditions.

Q. Just looking at the demographic of your side, like age, experience, talent -- you've got lots of inexperienced players as well -- is this the best squad you've seen Australia have in some time?
COACH: Yeah, I can definitely say that I think the team is in a greater place than I've ever seen it. I think over the last 12 months it's grown a lot as a team. We've tried to instill a player-lead environment over the last 12 months, and I believe with our leadership team at the moment and the playing group that they're really pushing hard on this.

And just the approach that we're playing, I think we got a lot of kudos back home just for the freedom that we played with. We probably played the first couple years I was coach in a pretty conservative manner, and that was something that couple of World Cup exits brought that to the fore. We made sure we addressed that.

There is 100% buy-in from the playing group, and you can see that in the way we train, the way we play, the way we conduct ourselves. In all the media the players do, they're really committed to this. It's something that has come from them.

So, yeah, I think if we happen to fall over here we certainly can't say it's because of our approach. We've done everything in our powers to play a good style of T20 cricket, and it's been working in the last 12 months, that's for sure?

Q. Do you also think the players are just in their prime? You look at Meg and Rachael and they're just in that age and they're almost at the peak of their powers?
COACH: Yeah, I do. Yeah, it's a great opportunity, and there are a lot of excited players. I think the biggest shift we've had in our T20 is players have been able to play roles and it's not just traditional setup where you just lift your five or six bet best batters and they bat in order.

I think the Ellyse Perrys and Meg and Rach, traditionally our more well-known players have accepted roles in the middle order, so that's given the freedom to the Ash Gardners and the Beth Mooneys and the Alyssa Healys to go out and really take the game on.

So we feel we've got a team for all seasons, and I think it's a really good mix. The younger players that we have brought in have certainly added a lot to the quad, their energy and enthusiasm, and they're very good players.

They've earned their spot, but they've breathed life into some of the older players, albeit 26, 27 that should be in their prime and playing their best cricket.

Q. Meg, just for you. You spoke about when you were out with the shoulder injury you almost didn't know what to do when you were around the team, where to stand and all that. Has that changed you as a captain, do you, think since you've been back in how you work with especially I guess some of the younger players?
MEG LANNING: Absolutely, yeah, gave me a different perspective on things and sort of just, yeah, being a little bit on the outside you sort of the see things a little bit differently. I think it was a great learning for me just to be able to have that empathy, I guess, for other players, which is something I've been trying to work on.

I guess that experience just sort of helped to allow me to be able to understand players a little bit more. I think we do that really well as a group now in understanding when some players might be struggling or not finding it as easy as others. We've sort of got that understanding now. We're a really tight group.

So, yeah, for me no doubt it improved me, my leadership. And, yeah, it's nice to be back in the team, and I'm really enjoying my cricket at the moment and really excited about what's to come in the next couple weeks.

Q. Some cultures have spoken about how old fashioned style of playing might work in these conditions. You yourself have spoken about how batters need to play without ego. Can you elaborate on that?
MEG LANNING: I think it's just about what's required at the time. T20 is changing all the time. It can change within one ball or an over. You need to be able to play according to what the situation is.

I think as a squad we've been able to do that over the last probably 12 months. We've adapted to that well. Yeah, so I think our team is in a really good position to be able to do that. You need to be disciplined and stick to your plan, but at the end of the day every game is different.

If you don't adapt to what you're doing, you're probably going to get left behind.

Q. You spoke about rules in terms of the backing. Looking at your bowling attack we can also see (indiscernible) how deliberate was that while picking your 15? You have a fast bowler, but not necessarily the best. What kind of thinking was that while picking a squad?
COACH: Yeah, I think you probably hit the nail on the head. I think we had a number of options that were quite similar and possibly deserved to be in the 15, but the selection of Tay was about that. It was about someone who could ruffle rougher a few feathers. She gets the batters hopping around the net, so we know she's not nice to face. She's just a young player who rips in and bowls fasts. I think every team would lone of those. A few have got them. When you've got one the those on some potentially benign wickets, I think that's really important that we have that point of difference.

Yeah, we're going to assess as this tournament goes on. We've obviously got four games in Guyana, so we feel like we know the pitch pretty well. We also went along and watched the match last night and played on a different wicket and it played quite differently.

I think it could vary game to game, and so we got to be as adaptable as possible. That will reflect in all our selections.

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