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Colvin wary of Windies

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England spinner Holly Colvin looks ahead to the NatWest Women's T20 Series

Holly Colvin believes England women are in for a stern challenge against West Indies when the NatWest International T20 Series begins tomorrow at the Emirates Durham ICG.

England prepared for the five-match rubber with a pair of serene wins over Pakistan at Loughborough this week and thoughts will soon turn to the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

An agonising two-run defeat to West Indies ended England’s hopes of retaining their title in the Caribbean two years ago, something that slow-left-armer Colvin believes offers an indication towards five tricky encounters in the coming days.

“They’ve beaten us in the past and we’ve beaten them in tournaments so I reckon it’s going to be a toughly contested series and they’re definitely not a side to underestimate,” she told ecb.co.uk.

Holly Colvin

Holly Colvin feels England took the lessons from defeat to West Indies two years ago to become a much-improved Twenty20 outfit

“They’ve got a good opening batter in Stefanie Taylor. She’s done some serious innings for them in the past. They’ve also got a big-hitting Deandra Dottin, who I think got one of the fastest hundreds in T20 records, so they’re two key players for them.”

The innings in question came when Dottin plundered 112 against South Africa in the game before England succumbed to West Indies in the last World T20, taking an explosive 38 deliveries to reach three figures.

Such close-quarters experience of this attacking approach is something Colvin believes has defined England’s subsequent progress in the shortest form.

“I think it’s just being a bit more brave with our play,” she said. “We got knocked out by the West Indies in 2010 and we didn’t manage to chase down a total that we’d hope to find quite easy to chase down now.

“We just need to make sure that we play our games, know our roles and play the shots that we know we can. I think that’s the lessons that we’ve learned from there.

“In 2011 we had the quadrangular which we ended up winning, beating the world champions Australia who are a tough side. Our T20 cricket is definitely improving more and more and there’s still plenty of room for improvement still.”

Although fully focused on the task in hand, Colvin is also relishing the prospect of pitting her wits against the world’s best on the turning tracks of Sri Lanka later this month.

“I can’t wait,” she added. “Going back to Sri Lanka, where I haven’t been since 2004, will be a great experience.

"Playing in the sub-continent as a spinner - I can’t wait to get onto some dusty pitches compared to green seamers in England.

“It doesn’t add any extra pressure; it’s just an added bonus. I think spin’s been a key factor in women’s T20 cricket over the last few years anyway. The slower pace is harder to hit.”