Heather Knight: England need quick turnaround ahead of must-win Women's Cricket World Cup match against India – Sky Sports

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Last Updated: 14/03/22 5:41pm
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Heather Knight acknowledged England need to improve quickly if they are to maintain any hope of retaining the Women’s Cricket World Cup after suffering a third-straight loss.
The reigning champions suffered a three-wicket defeat to South Africa at Bay Oval on Monday, with the Proteas chasing down their target of 236 with four balls to spare.
England have little time to dwell on this latest defeat ahead of the rematch of the 2017 final when they take on India at the same venue on Wednesday and captain Knight knows her team cannot afford any more slips.
“We’re obviously going to have to win that game and win that well,” Knight said. “We’re going to have to turn that around very quickly.
“There will be some sad faces in that dressing room, but we’re going to have to try to get everyone up and ready and come out fighting.
“It’s not through lack of effort, things just haven’t run our way and we’ve been poor in certain areas. There are things we can do a lot better, and we’ve got to believe we can do that for the next game.”
A 107-run partnership between Tammy Beaumont (62) and Amy Jones (53) helped England post 235-9 from their 50 overs after being put into bat first when South Africa won the toss.
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Laura Wolvaardt’s 77 got South Africa off to a fine start in pursuit of the target of 236, although England were again left to rue missed chances in the field as she was dropped twice and had a stumping attempt missed.
Player of the match Marizanne Kapp made a valuable contribution with 32 after taking 5-45 during England’s innings as well to help the Proteas to within sight of the required score which they reached in the final over, securing their third straight victory in this year’s tournament.
It was the first time South Africa had beaten England in the World Cup for over 20 years as well and while it was a painful loss for Knight, she is determined to take a positive mindset into Wednesday’s must-win game.
“I’ll be honest, it’s pretty painful losing three close games in a row and I guess at times we shot ourselves in the foot with our fielding,” Knight said.
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“A batter like Wolvaardt, you can’t give her that many chances or she’ll make you pay, so we’re obviously pretty gutted with the situation. It’s not through a lack of effort or a lack of graft.
“Of course, we’ve got another game very quickly so we’re going to have to turn things around and keep believing there is a small chance we can make it through.
“I think other games probably have to go our way now, but there is still a chance, and we’ll keep believing.”
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Former England men’s captain Nasser Hussain, speaking to Sky Sports News…
It’s hugely disappointing if you’re an England fan or an England player. They’ve played three games and lost three – all very close games – and they’ve not played particularly well, if I’m honest.
They batted well at Hamilton, they bowled well in the last game, and they’ve not fielded well in any of them. There were seven chances in Dunedin, four or five today, and three of them went to Laura Wolvaardt. She’s a world-class player and if you give world-class players chances, they will hurt you – and that’s exactly what Wolvaardt did.
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I don’t think they’re doing any of their disciplines particularly well. With the bat, they made a late change today and left out Lauren Winfield-Hill and changed the batting line-up. With the ball, they seem very short; you look at a lot of the World Cup sides, and they’ve been bowling full.
Katherine Brunt in particular, a senior, experienced bowler is bowling far too short. I spoke to Heather Knight after the game, and she said: ‘the analyst says this pitch you have to bowl short’. Never mind what the analyst says, what’s your gut feel?
Look at the way Marizanne Kapp bowled. She got five wickets by pitching the ball up. England seemed hell-bent on banging it into the pitch halfway down and getting pulled. In the field, it’s like a virus and it spreads through the team. They look fidgety.
Some big movements in the #CWC22 standings after Bangladesh and South Africa's massive victories 👀 pic.twitter.com/EDm7BnpwRL
The two days we’ve been watching their practice, they’re working really hard, but when it counts, they’re not delivering and for a side who are world champions, it’s very, very unusual.
They’re must-win games and now it’s all about their mental attitude and delivering. India are playing well, but England will obviously have some fond memories. They beat India in that final in 2017 and they can beat anyone if they play like they can. The problem is, they’re not playing like they can.
There are some positives: Tammy Beaumont and Amy Jones played really well again, Sophie Ecclestone in the last two games has been quite brilliant and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side in either of those games.
There are some individual performances, but as a team and a collective, fielding is the worst thing you can get wrong because it just looks like you’re a side which is struggling. If Heather Knight asked, what do they want to get right by the India game, I’d say it was their fielding.
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