Kate Cross is backing England Women to handle the pressure on Australia Day and retain the Ashes in Hobart tomorrow.
Victories in the Test match and the opening one-day international put Charlotte Edwards’ side within one win of an unassailable series lead under the multi-format points system.
But the hosts hit back with a 26-run triumph under the MCG floodlights on Thursday to keep their slim comeback hopes alive.
Lancashire seamer Cross believes nerves played a part as some uncharacteristically haphazard fielding undermined England last time out, but insists spirits remain high among the touring party.
“There was a lot of nerves in camp on Thursday,” she told ecb.co.uk. “You’re in a position where you can win the Ashes and that was quite a big deal for us.
“But the mood is really good. We’re still 8-2 up (on points) and we’ve still got everything to play for.
“We were obviously disappointed. We’d had two good wins against Australia but it’s always disappointing to lose. I think we did let ourselves down, especially in the field.”
Conditions since England’s arrival in Hobart have been similar to those usually associated with Cross’ home city of Manchester and she feels that could be to the advantage of a seam attack now spearheaded by Anya Shrubsole in the injury absence of Katherine Brunt.
“It’s very, very similar to England so it’s a little bit like being back home," she explained. "But it’s quite nice from what I’ve seen.
“Looking around there’s a lot of cloud cover. I’m not sure what the weather forecast is going to be like but hopefully if there is a bit of cloud cover then that’s going to suit our bowlers, in particular Anya. So that could be a big positive for us.”
Three Twenty20 contests will offer England further opportunities to reach their goal if it proves elusive tomorrow, but Cross is keen to settle matters this weekend and keep England on course to better their hosts in each format.
“We’ve spoken about it in terms of a one-day series and it’s 1-1 in that one-day series,” she added.
“We’re going to look to win that one-day series and retain those Ashes.”