Heather Knight says England have ‘parked’ their campaign without an Ashes win, but admits they will have a point to prove when they meet Australia again in their World Cup opener last night. next week.
But the England captain deflected Meg Lanning’s suggestions that Knight’s side would head into the tournament as favorites given their reigning champion status and the focus on the world’s No.1-ranked side.
“We have Australia first and clearly we have a point to prove as a team,” Knight said from Christchurch after their Ashes run without a win earlier in the summer.
“It wasn’t the tour we wanted, it didn’t quite go the way we wanted it to, especially how we finished (losing ODIs 3-0).
“I think especially in those last two games there was a bit of mental and probably physical fatigue on the part of the players.”
England started the multi-format series on a promising note by posting 4-169 in the opening T20I at Adelaide Oval, but their rivals easily hit the mark.
Two washed-out games over 20 caused frustration, and their charge to victory in the single Test was ripped off when they lost 6-27 in the final hour.
Australia then defended 205 to retain the Ashes with two ODIs to spare, before the tour of England ended in a whimper with two heavy defeats in Melbourne.
“It’s not a true representation of where we are as a team and who we are,” Knight continued.
“I think we showed at times in the Ashes that when we go head-to-head with them we can be successful. We probably lacked that killer instinct a bit.
“We didn’t become a bad team overnight, we are still a very good team.”
England took advantage of their early release from hotel quarantine, spending a week of downtime in Queenstown before returning to Christchurch ahead of Monday’s first warm-up game against Bangladesh.
“(It) has actually been lovely, a chance to disconnect and do some outdoor activities away from cricket and gain some head space,” Knight said.
“It was very important to step away from cricket to digest what happened in the Ashes and also to park it for a bit.
While Knight was happy to hand over patronage status to Australia, she said memories of her team’s triumphant home campaign in 2017, when they beat India in the final at Lord’s, would place them in good place in the defense of their title.
“Five years is quite a long time and Australia have been the most outstanding team in that time,” she said.
“So rightly I think they deserve that label of favourites. But I certainly believe that as the team of our day we can beat them.
“We were talking about it the other day actually, remembering how flawed (the 2017 World Cup) was, and how you have the ups and downs of a competition and how you always forget that because we’ve won the competition.
“World Cups are so different from a multi-format series like Ashes, you play a different team every (game), you travel and you face different challenges… going to a global tournament will help us.”
England will also meet South Africa in a warm-up match ahead of Saturday’s showdown with Australia in Hamilton.
The biggest question they have to answer in practice games is who will open the batting alongside Tammy Beaumont.
Danni Wyatt and Amy Jones have been used in the role for the past few years, while Lauren Winfield-Hill was the preferred option throughout 2021.
But Winfield-Hill, who hasn’t made it past 50 in an international match since 2016, was omitted from the Ashes ODI final in favor of Emma Lamb, whose trial at the top of the order lasted two bullets before d to be played by Ellyse Perry. .
“We haven’t quite nailed this place yet,” Knight said.
“It’s never ideal, not being completely sure of your World Cup-leading batting lineup, but that’s the position we’ve been in and we have some options.
“The two warm-up matches will be a chance for whoever we decide to try and consolidate their place with and really get in shape for the tournament.
“As far as the team, finding the right balance is going to be key. We’ve played a bit with seven hitters and five bowlers, or six hitters and the extra bowler… (now we have to be) really clear on when we want to use the different side balances on different wickets throughout the tournament.
“It’s something that we want to get ticked off and really clear in our minds as a selection committee.”
ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022
Australia team: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda – Jade Wellington. Traveling Reserves: Heather Graham, Georgia Redmayne
Australia 2022 World Cup schedule
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March 30: Basin Reserve, Wellington, 8:00 a.m. AEDT
March, 31st : Hagley Park Christchurch, 12pm AEDT
April 3: Hagley Park Christchurch, 11am AEDT
All matches will be shown in Australia on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports