Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander is confident goal shooter Catherine Cox will bounce back to form in the next two netball Tests against New Zealand despite the star veteran's rare downer on Sunday.
Cox, who has established herself as one of Australia's most reliable players during a glittering 15-year international career, nailed just 14 of 23 goal attempts before being subbed off at half-time in Sunday's heartbreaking 49-48 loss to the Silver Ferns in Perth.
The Diamonds trailed by 11 goals midway through the third quarter before Cox's replacement Caitlin Bassett turned the match on its head, sinking 19 goals at 90 per cent accuracy to spark Australia's brave fightback.
Bassett's scintillating performance could earn her the starting nod in Wednesday's re-match in Adelaide, where Australia will be aiming to level the Constellation Cup series at 2-2.
But even if Cox gets squeezed out of her favoured goal shooter position, Alexander said the 35-year-old veteran may still retain a starting role, albeit in goal attack.
"The great thing about Coxy is she brings so much leadership to the group. I think with that game under her belt, she'll be stronger in the next run," Alexander said.
"I've got enormous faith in her. I know what she can do. She can finish off a game.
"She's a terrific player and terrific competitor, and I'll see her lifting in the next Test.
"Possibly (Bassett will be given a starting role) ... But we could start with two smalls as well.
"We could start with Erin (Bell) and Nat (Medhurst) and give the Kiwis something to think about.
"The great thing is we have got lots of flexibility. But certainly on (Sunday's) performance Caitlin earned her spot."
Alexander praised Cox's leadership, and conceded it was a tough decision to sub off the stand-in captain.
"But she understands that if she's not performing as well as she should be, then we've got players that can go on and do the job," Alexander said.
"She's more than willing to do that self sacrifice for the team, and then she'll sit on the bench and she'll be yelling as loud as anybody else.
"She's an amazing leader."
Diamonds goal defence Julie Corletto is in doubt for Wednesday's clash after copping a knock to the same leg she injured in the recent series against England.
Silver Ferns shooting star Irene Van Dyk again looms as the key player to stop after nailing 27 goals from 29 attempts on Sunday.
Diamonds goal keeper Laura Geitz, who spent three quarters on Van Dyk, said she was keen for another crack on the 190cm powerhouse.
"It's incredible coming up against her and you have to be on your best game to even be a chance against her," Geitz said.
"I think she's at the top of her game."