HomePre-Match Press Conference“We Want To Keep Pushing Forward As A Side” – Heather Knight

“We Want To Keep Pushing Forward As A Side” – Heather Knight

In a press conference ahead of the much-anticipated first ODI between England and Pakistan, Heather Knight, the England captain, offered a comprehensive insight into her team’s preparations, the dual focus on upcoming World Cups, and the evolution of domestic cricket in England.

When asked about the preparation for the 2025 ODI World Cup amidst the T20 World Cup fervour, Knight explained, “Yeah, look, I think the international schedule is such that there’s always a big tournament on the horizon not too far away. For me, it’s all about us improving as a team, be that T20 format or one-day format. Each player should be pretty clear on what exactly it is that they need to be better at and need to keep doing really well. We haven’t played a huge amount of one-day cricket, so that’s an area we can certainly get better at in terms of adapting to the flows of those games.”

Knight emphasized the importance of focusing on the immediate task at hand, “Obviously we want to keep pushing forward as a side, but I want us to also focus on what we’re doing now, what we’re facing against Pakistan, trying to do the best that we can against them and ultimately win series and win them ruthlessly. I think we did that in the T20s, and it’s probably an area we need to maintain, like finishing off series strongly.”

Addressing potential lineup changes and the balance of the team, Knight said, “Yeah, a little bit. There’s obviously a slightly different balance with Nat [Sciver-Brunt] not bowling. Our three spinners have been a huge strength of ours, and it can be really hard to fit them all into the one-day team. It’s something that we haven’t really done. But it’s so hard to leave one of them out there. They’re all different things, like Sarah’s consistency, Charlie’s got the best strike rate of all time at the moment in one-day cricket and so is the best in the world. I guess this is a lineup we’re looking at a little bit and how we squeeze them in, but also get the balance right in terms of having enough batting. We want to be positive and have that strength in the order. There’s a few spaces up for grabs and then find out the right balance.”

Knight also touched on the significant changes in domestic cricket, with the regional setup evolving into a new structure. “In the long run, the vision for it is to make it more simple really,” she remarked.

“I think it will make things a bit slicker in that way and also gives the county’s huge opportunity to get on the growth of the women’s game. If things turn out in the right way, I think it is a huge step forward. I think it will take a couple of years to kind of find things out and I guess make sure that the girls are looked after as well. The domestic girls are a lot of uncertainty at the moment around where they’re going to play and thing I just hope those girls are looked after and are given as much information as they can earlier because ultimately a lot of them it’s affecting their lives and where they live and things like that.”

“I’ve seen Amy grow in confidence massively” – Heather Knight on Amy Jones

Amy Jones scored a hundred. (Image: X)
Amy Jones scored a hundred. (Image: X)

Amy Jones, a key player in the squad, has shown remarkable growth, and Knight had high praise for her.

“I’ve seen Amy grow in confidence massively. She’s becoming more of a leader in our group and is crucial for me behind the stumps. Her insights are invaluable. Amy has worked hard with our batting coach on the mental side of her game, and it shows. Her confidence and clarity have translated into consistent performances, even in challenging situations. She’s a vital player for us, especially in the middle order.”

As England gears up for the ODI series against Pakistan, coming off a confident 2-0 clean sweep in the T20 series, Knight highlighted the significance of these games.

“Starting an ODI series, especially in a big T20 World Cup year, is still really important. We only played six ODIs last year, so it’s a format we need more experience in, particularly for the young players. It’s a chance to refine our basics and adapt to the game’s ebbs and flows.”

Discussing potential changes in the ODI squad compared to the T20s, Knight confirmed, “Yeah, we’ve had a few squad changes with Tammy Beaumont and Kate Cross coming in. They’ve been solid in our ODI team for a long time. Nat’s not bowling yet, which affects our balance, but we’ve got the depth to be successful regardless of the lineup.”

Reflecting on memorable performances at Derby, where the first ODI is set to take place, Knight reminisced, “Yeah, New Zealand was the last game here, wasn’t it? We’ve had some really good memories at Derby, with strong World Cup games and other performances. It’s a place where people get behind us, and there’s always a great atmosphere. We’re excited to be back.”

With the return of Tammy Beaumont and fierce competition for spots, Knight is optimistic about the depth and quality of the squad. “Tammy’s one of the best openers we’ve had in one-day cricket. Having her back is a huge boost, and the competition for spots is only going to push everyone to improve, which is great for the team.”

“In The T20 Series, We Have Taken A Lot Of Positives From There And We Will Take The Momentum” – Nida Dar

Nida Dar is optimistic of the Pakistani side [Image: PCB]
Nida Dar is optimistic of the Pakistani side [Image: PCB]
Pakistan captain Nida Dar exuded confidence and optimism and reflecting on the recently concluded T20 series, she highlighted the importance of taking the positives and momentum into the ODIs.

“Yeah, definitely,” Dar began, addressing the motivation to bounce back after the T20 series. “I think in the T20 series we have taken a lot of positives from there, and we will take the momentum, especially for the batters. It is very important to come back in the ODI series and take that momentum and go positive as well.”

One of the key areas of focus for Dar and her team is the performance of the batting lineup. “The most important thing is partnerships between the batters and consistent performance from the batters,” she emphasized.

The consistency in batting has been a recurring theme in Pakistan’s cricket strategy, aiming to build solid foundations that can withstand the pressures of international competition.

When questioned about any major changes in the squad from the T20 series to the ODIs, Dar mentioned the possibility of integrating new faces and forming a well-balanced team. “Yeah, we have seen a lot of new faces in the former matches as well in T20. We will decide again and we will go for the good combination for our ODI series,” she explained. The inclusion of new players not only brings fresh energy to the team but also allows for the testing of different combinations and strategies.

Looking ahead, Dar stressed the significance of the upcoming series in the broader context of their preparations for future tournaments. “We are looking forward to the upcoming Asia Cup and T20 World Cup. We are going good, and I think we have a lot of positive things from the same side. We are looking forward to the T20 World Cup especially,” she remarked. The ODIs against England are seen as a critical step in their journey, providing a platform to refine their skills and strategies.

Dar also touched on the importance of the exposure and experience gained from playing against a top-tier team like England. “It is very important that young sides come into the team and the exposure is especially against England. There are a lot of positive things that we have for youngsters. I will use the positives for the power plays that we have played in the T20s. We test out our batting and the bowling side. There are a lot of positive things from there,” she noted. The opportunity for younger players to gain experience against strong opposition is invaluable, contributing to their development and the overall growth of the team.

Despite recent challenges, Dar remains focused on the process and long-term goals. “I want to work on the process, and I know that the results are not there. But the process we have started and the intent we have started, that is positive for me. Sooner or later it will give a lot of results. The intent is going to be for the world cricket,” she asserted. The emphasis on process over immediate results highlights a strategic and patient approach to building a resilient and competitive team.

Dar also acknowledged the blend of experience and youth within the squad. “The cricket was very important. Definitely for the new girls, the exposure is very good. The experience is very good. This kind of exposure is always talked about. When you play against good teams, you learn a lot from them. The combination of my team and senior juniors are both ideal and makes for a team-like composition,” she concluded. The balanced mix of experienced players and newcomers is expected to provide a strong foundation for the team, fostering a culture of learning and growth.

As Pakistan prepares to take on England in the first ODI, Nida Dar’s leadership and vision set a promising tone. With a focus on building partnerships, integrating new talent, and maintaining a positive intent, the team aims to not only compete but also to lay the groundwork for future successes in international cricket.

Click Here to get the latest news related to Women’s Cricket. You can also check about Match predictions here. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more updates.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Recent article