Edwards: World T20 preparation starts now

Skipper Charlotte Edwards wants England to use the Twenty20 series against South Africa to fine-tune their preparations for the World T20.

The tourists face the Proteas, who they beat 2-1 in the one-day internationals, in the first of three T20s tomorrow in Paarl ahead of next month’s showpiece in India.

“We have been a pretty successful T20 squad over the last few years so we are looking to build on that,” Edwards said. “These games are huge in terms of preparation for the T20 World Cup.

“We will be trying a few things, seeing what combinations work and hopefully winning all three games, which I think is really important to do.

“It is a hugely exciting time for us with what is coming up. We are looking forward to playing here and putting on a good show tomorrow.”

Mark Robinson has adopted an attacking approach since taking over as Head Coach, giving his batters license to play with freedom.

And Edwards believes that positive intent will be vital in the sprint format, saying: “He really wants us to go out there and be really brave in this format, we have got a long batting line-up and he wants us to go out there really hard early.

“A lot of the stats suggest in T20 cricket that if you win the first six (overs) you win the game. We will be going out there pretty hard.

“Not just focussing on that area, we also want to focus on the back-end of the game where we don’t think we have been as strong, but we have got some powerful hitters coming down the order.

“We will try and exploit all parts of the game and it’s not just about the batting, it is about our bowling as well. It has been a big part of our success in recent times and hopefully we can build on that too.”

Natasha Farrant, who replaced the injured Katherine Brunt for the three T20s versus the Proteas, was also included in a 15-player squad for the World T20.

Edwards, Farrant’s team-mate at Kent, has backed the left-arm seamer to impress.

“I have seen a lot in her because I play with her week in week out,” the 36-year-old said. “She was unfortunate to miss out in Bangladesh in 2014 with a back problem, but she just gives an extra dimension to our attack.

“I think left-arm seamers have always been historically quite successful in T20 cricket, so she brings that to our attack.

“She is a feisty youngster and she is someone I have played a lot of cricket with. I know she can handle the big occasion and she thoroughly deserves her call-up.”

Edwards is hoping England can go one better at the World T20, having lost to Australia in the 2012 and 2014 finals.

“We have come very close in the last two,” she said. “We are not desperate, but we want to perform well out in India. It is a global event and hopefully it will be third time lucky for us.

“The way we have played our T20 cricket recently has been exciting, having beaten Australia in the summer in that format.

“But I don’t think it is just them we have got to look out for. I think it is going to be one of the closest World Cups we are going to play in. That is exciting.”


Source: ECB

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