Edwards wards off doubt
Charlotte Edwards has urged England to have self-belief when they face hosts India in what is likely a must-win game for her side at the Women’s World Cup.
The holders need victory to get their Group A campaign back on track after the shock loss to Sri Lanka yesterday. That would ensure another success versus West Indies on Tuesday will take them to the Super Six stage.
Sri Lanka grabbed a last-ball triumph by one wicket at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium where England tomorrow meet India, who beat the Windies by 105 runs there on Thursday.
Edwards will hope to have wicketkeeper-batter Sarah Taylor and off-spinner Laura Marsh available after minor injuries sidelined them yesterday.
“I don't want to put too much pressure on the girls,” said Edwards, who admitted defeat to Sri Lanka was “not the ideal start to a World Cup”.
“We know we can beat India in India and we've just got to believe in ourselves and come out here on Sunday and do that.”
Edwards identified England’s bowling and fielding as areas requiring improvement from yesterday’s game.
In pursuit of a competitive 238 for eight, Sri Lanka’s top order first prospered with Chamari Atapattu and Yasoda Mendis sharing an opening stand of 103.
Eshani Kaushalya’s 41-ball 56, including three sixes and five fours, then took her team to the brink of victory.
“The bowling is a slight concern at the moment, and really squeezing those middle overs,” Edwards added.
“It's hard to take wickets out here and we didn't field particularly well either, so possibly that's an area we need to go away (and work on). But there was some good hitting so there's fine line between bad bowling and good batting.”
India captain Mithali Raj thinks Sri Lanka’s win proves how open the tournament is.
"I did tell you the other day that the tournament was open because each and every team is scoring heavily, more than 200-plus, and they are able to chase, so definitely the tournament is open after yesterday's upset," she said.
"I give a lot of credit to the groundsmen for preparing a very batting-friendly wicket. It really doesn't give the bowlers much but the batters have a lot to score on and unless you make a mistake you can't get out on such a track. It is hard and like a concrete wicket.
"Now teams like Sri Lanka, Pakistan or South Africa seem a lot confident because they keep playing many games among themselves and, when they come into the World Cup, getting a track like this gives them a lot of confidence."