England cricketers Katherine Brunt and Heather Knight aim to retain Ashes.
England women cricketers will not be resting on their laurels in January when they bid to retain the Ashes in Australia.
Last Updated: 19/12/13 4:18pm
Lead wicket-taker Brunt insists the sides are evenly matched, and despite temperatures set to reach 40 degrees, she said the team have been training hard to cope with the conditions.
The England squad will start their campaign with a one-day Test match in Perth, and both Brunt and Knight are looking forward to playing after missing England's recent tour of the West Indies due to injury.
"Hopefully we will retain the Ashes, as that is the aim. But it is always enjoyable playing the Aussies and this is what we train so hard for, it's the pinnacle for us and we are ready to get on the plane now," Brunt said.
"We first go to Perth which will be one of the hottest places with temperatures in the region of around 40 degrees and we will be playing in this for eight hours a day, but our training has prepared us for this."
And leading run-scorer Knight insists retaining the Ashes will not come without its challenges:
"It is not going to be easy, we are evenly matched teams, it was a close series in the summer and we are expecting the same," Knight said.
The multi-format series opens on 10 January before three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 games, and both players are confident in captain Charlotte Edwards to once again lead from the front.
And despite both admitting being sceptical about the new tournament system, they believe it has helped to get the whole country involved and interested in the Ashes.
"She always leads from the front, she is very confident and is very experienced and hopefully she will carry on for a few years," Knight said.
"It is always difficult to play in Australia as the whole country are against us but we will try and turn it to our advantage."
"Edwards is a great batsman, and she will be making all the hard decisions," said Brunt.
"I am really happy with it as we were a bit sceptical to begin with it as it is not original.
"It keeps the Ashes alive and it gets the whole country involved and is key for our coverage and following."
However, though Anya Shrubsole and Arran Brindle make their return to the England cricket team for the Ashes in the new year, spinner Holly Colvin will not feature after deciding to take a break from the world of cricket.
Brunt admitted that Colvin is a vital component to their team, since making her debut at a young age for England.
"Holly is a key member of the squad, I believe she was 15/16 when she made her debut against Australia in a test match, and she is taking a break to see what else is out there," Brunt said.
Women's Ashes points system - six points are awarded for winning the Test match - with two points for each side in a draw. And two points are awarded to the winners of each of the ODIs and T20 Internationals. In total, there are 18 points available.