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Time to flick the switch

Posted in England Women

Jack Birkenshaw

Jack Birkenshaw is assistant coach to the England women's team

Following the defeat against Australia we had a good final warm-up game against West Indies.

We experimented with the batting order a little bit to give others the chance and Beth Morgan seized that opportunity and played really well for an attractive fifty.

Before this Sarah Taylor played really well as we know she can do, playing some beautiful shots and timing the ball well and as a result she also made a good fifty.

As well as this there were little cameos from Ebony Rainford-Brent and Jenny Gunn which took us to a really good score of 210 for six on an average pitch.

The game against Australia on Monday was one which I would have to say we lost rather than they won it.

They’re obviously a tough side but we bowled them out for 214. To restrict them to 214 from 50 overs on a really good pitch with a fast outfield was good. At 150 for four we were cruising to victory, but one-day cricket is never over until the fat lady sings, as they say.

We really have got to get tougher if we’re going to win this competition and not allow ourselves to have a nightmare such as when you lose five or six wickets for 10 or so runs. If you do that you don’t deserve to win anything really.

The game against NSW last week went well. What we have got to do, however, and today against West Indies was a good example, is for other people to bat - not just the Taylor girls and the captain.

If we’re going to do well in this tournament we need contributions from the other girls, it’s as simple as that, and today two or three other girls came to the party, which was good. I think we’re now ready to pit our skills against Sri Lanka in our first match.

The players are doing really well in our training sessions. The girls are really fit and the fielding’s good, we have no concerns about the fielding at all. If they play like they can do and just get better as the competition goes on we’ll be a force to reckon with and all the Australians realise that. But we can’t afford a nightmare. A nightmare in a one-day game can send you home.

Claire Taylor

England lost to Australia in their first official warm-up match but then beat West Indies two days later

Having seen Australia on Monday there is no doubt that they are a threat. They’re fighters, they’ve got the typical Australian fighting spirit – they never give up. They have good players in the middle order who hit the ball hard. They’re confident, play for the team, are not in it for themselves and come out with no fear. There’s no doubt about it, they are a dangerous team.

I don’t think they’re technically better than us in any department but they have that real street fighter type quality which we have to get in our team.

The new hotel that we’ve moved to for the majority of the tournament is good, but it was a wee bit difficult to find the toilet flusher – that was a tough challenge. I’ve never seen one like it. It looks like a light switch. It’s a little button tucked away somewhere – both Laney (Mark Lane, head coach) and I had real problems, but we’re all right now.

The hotel is in a terrific location right in the middle of Sydney with all the restaurants and shops close by. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to stick to my allowance with all the temptations of lovely food that Sydney has to offer, but I’m sure I’ll manage.

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