Marsh counts cost of England success

Laura Marsh

The extent of their success means England women are the team everyone wants to beat, according to Laura Marsh

Laura Marsh insists England women must learn to live with having a target on their heads as teams compete to knock them off their pedestal.

England established themselves as the pre-eminent force in the women’s game during a sensational 2009 that saw them win the World Cup, the World Twenty20 and the Ashes.

However, they ended the year with a shock series defeat in West Indies, and last week succumbed to India in a five-match one-day campaign.

Although there are mitigating circumstances - leading batsman Claire Taylor sat out both tours and namesake Sarah was forced home from India through injury after playing a solitary game - England are experiencing the price of fame, according to Marsh.

“We had a great year in 2009 but it’s always difficult to maintain that when a team goes through a period of being successful,” the all-rounder told ecb.co.uk.

“When you are a successful team other teams will always want to match you and beat you, and strive to be better themselves. The standard of cricket is always going to improve.

“We’ve not put in the performances in the West Indies, and we’ve been beaten here by an India team who have played very well.”

England have the opportunity to right the wrongs of the one-day series, which they lost 3-2, when they meet the same opponents tomorrow in the first of three Twenty20 internationals in five days in Mumbai.

Off-spinner Marsh bowled tidily in the five ODIs, although she managed just one wicket, and is keen to perform a similar containing role in the shortest format.

“My job is to come on in the middle overs and keep the runs down,” she added. “I’ve not got as many wickets as I would have liked but the Indians have played me well, especially Mithali Raj.

“My role is similar in the Twenty20s, but if I can get a few dot balls I’ll be happy. Sometimes dot balls can lead to wickets with the pressure that you can build up.

“We’ve not played well enough in the one-dayers but we’re hoping to put that right in the Twenty20 games.”

Brit

The new Brit Insurance 2010-11 official England Cricket Team kit will be available to pre order from April 1 via ecb.co.uk, and in store from April 29