By Rob Barnett
Sarah Taylor says she ‘could stand at the non-striker’s end and watch Charlotte Edwards bat all day’. Taylor will naturally be hoping to do so for 20 overs in the Women’s World Twenty20 final with Australia.
Should opening pair Taylor and Edwards bat throughout England’s allocation in tomorrow’s showpiece at Dhaka, England will in all likelihood topple the World T20 holders.
The England stalwarts joined forces for 11 overs yesterday, knocking off 67 of the 102 required to beat South Africa, which was achieved with nine wickets and 19 balls to spare.
That was just the latest in a myriad of alliances between Taylor and Edwards, including an unbroken 114 in January’s Twenty20 international at Hobart that earned back-to-back Ashes series wins.
So long have they been England team-mates, it is easy to forget Edwards is 10 years older than Taylor, who holds her captain in high esteem.
Taylor, 24, who has been reunited with Edwards at the top of the order in this tournament, told ecb.co.uk: “We enjoy batting together; we have a good laugh out there but we know we’ve got a job to do.
“And obviously I look up to her massively, so actually having her out there as a bit of a guide is really nice. I literally could stand at the non-striker’s end and watch her bat all day.
“It’s been brilliant for me and it’s actually really nice to be back in that role again.”
Although England have won both multi-format Ashes rubbers in the last 12 months, Australia took the T20 leg 2-1 during January and February.
However, Australia’s two format victories came after England had taken an unassailable points lead and when the tourists were ravaged by injury.
Whatever that means for tomorrow’s game, England have plans in place to tackle their rivals.
“We’re probably seeing far too much of them to be fair, but then they’ve got their plans against us,” Taylor said.
“So we know that we really have to restrict them as much as we can with the ball, like we have been doing.
“We’ve got our plans in place and we just have to execute them. I think that’s going to be key tomorrow.
“And they’re a brilliant side so if those plans don’t come off we’ve got to react quickly enough to throw in ‘plan b’. Hopefully we’ll do that.”
The aforementioned injuries, including to key seamer Katherine Brunt, and the retirement of batter Arran Brindle, left England with a new-look World T20 squad.
The likes of Natalie Sciver and Rebecca Grundy are therefore set to play in their first global final.
Although it will be Taylor’s fourth – having featured in the 2009 World T20 triumph, the 2012 defeat and the 2009 50-over World Cup win – she is still excited by the prospect.
“It’s pretty special, I think,” she enthused.
“You just look back at all the hard work that you’ve done leading up to this tournament, and I guess the worries of people with injuries.
“You look at the squad and you’re like ‘right, come on, with this squad can we do this?’. And actually we’ve got here and I’ve got no doubt in my mind that we can.
“It’s just one of those things that you’re never going to forget. You just want to put on a good performance on the day.
“Every game we’ve been getting better and better so you just hope that there’s one more big performance.”
You can follow England Women’s progress in tomorrow's final with ecb.co.uk’s live blog, as well as via Twitter @ECB_cricket.