Greenway dismisses 'favourites' tag

Lydia Greenway

Lydia Greenway hit 61 not out against South Africa in the third ODI - at Shenley

Lydia Greenway insists she treats talk of England being World Cup favourites and sledging just the same way - she just completely ignores it.

Being an England cricketer in Australia - the Kent batter is currently playing grade cricket in Sydney for Eastern Suburbs - you are likely to cop a fair amount of stick from the locals.

But Greenway just retreats into her bubble, taking herself away from anything which might distract her from the job in hand.

"It's very competitive over here," the 23-year-old told ecb.co.uk. "There is some sledging - I got some at the weekend. I think it's quite good though. You get used to it."

Greenway is currently adopting the same policy of blissful ignorance when it comes to England being labelled favourites for the World Cup.

It is a fully deserved tag - just ask West Indies, South Africa and India who were all swept aside last summer - but Greenway says the England team are taking absolutely no notice whatsoever.

"Lots of things are being said about us being favourites," said Greenway. "But we are not thinking like that.

"Every team will want to win it and we have that as our target too. There is a level of expectancy but we are just going to take each game as it comes. We are going to be well-prepared and disciplined."

That professional approach is something coach Mark Lane is drumming into each member of his squad of 15 for March's World Cup in Australia.

As a result, a handful of players have travelled Down Under to get acclimatised to the conditions ahead of next year's tournament.

Lydia Greenway

Greenway sweeps during last summer when she was dismissed just twice in six innings as England dominated

"My season here hasn't been too bad," she said. "I have got some starts but have only gone on once to get 70. I would have liked to have got a few more scores.

"I want to get used to being at the crease. When I do get in I get in the mindset that I am playing for England. I think about what shots I would most likely play when I am batting for England and the areas I would look to score.

"I have been coming in at number five for England which is normally in the middle of the innings. The spinners and medium pacers are normally on then. If we are well set then I need to get going quickly or I might need to rebuild the innings if we have lost early wickets. You need a game plan.

"We have this discussion all the time - how does cricket in Australia compare with cricket back in England? In our club cricket, you get four or five really good players but there is not the same strength in depth as over here. Grade cricket is probably somewhere between our club cricket and county championship."

Greenway has taken part of England with her - she is living with Isa Guha, Beth Morgan and Holly Colvin - and the quartet of international stars are on a fact-finding mission this winter.

"We all play for different teams but are playing at the grounds where we are going to play during the World Cup," she added.

"There is only one ground we have not seen. We thought we would go and have a look at it. We have been speaking regularly to Laney and Lottie (captain Charlotte Edwards) so they know what we are up to."

Lydia Greenway

Greenway is presented with her 50th one-day cap by England captain Charlotte Edwards at Lord's last summer

Greenway can expect to feel at home away from home next spring as England will be using the Eastern Suburbs ground as their base for the duration of the World Cup.

"All of the clubs in the area are hosting a country," she explained. "The club I play for is where England will be. We are going to be training where I play, so that has worked out well. Our coach might be our liaison officer - he'll look after us."

Greenway has become a permanent fixture in the side since making her England debut almost six years ago and reached 50 one-day caps during the summer.

Although her chances to bat were limited last season - just look at the wealth of talent ahead of her in the order - she was dismissed just twice in six innings.

Two knocks highlighted her value to the team. In the third ODI against South Africa at Shenley, Greenway held the innings together with a patient 61 not out after England had threatened to capitulate with Edwards and Claire Taylor dismissed.

That innings contrasted sharply with an unbeaten 18 in the gloom at Taunton, a score which was worth so much more in a rain reduced match which England won to seal their third series triumph of the summer.

"I was pleased with how I played in that innings against South Africa," she said. "I was pleased with that. We had lost wickets and the pressure was on.

"We had a great summer. We beat West Indies, South Africa and India, but never once did we get too far ahead of ourselves."