From snow back home to a heat wave in Mumbai, Heather’s girls have done well to acclimatise.
From the weathering the cold climate back home to facing the sweltering heat and humidity in Mumbai, England’s women cricketers have coped well so far, despite not specially preparing for it. The Heather Knight-led team will meet Australia in the Twenty20 tri-series final on Saturday at the Cricket Club of India.
“No (we didn’t prepare for the heat), it was snowing in England. It has been hot and cold. Obviously, tough conditions in Mumbai as heat wave is going on. To push for those twos and run hard between the wickets in Twenty20 makes it bit harder but I am pleased we have come through,” said Knight.
The English skipper, who led her country to title win in the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup at Lord’s last year after defeating India in the final, felt fitness has helped them cope with extreme conditions. “We have worked hard on fitness, particularly in the last one year or so fitness standards have gone high. It has been fine so far,” she added.
The English girls’ performance in the tournament also has been hot and cold so far. They won both their first two matches against Australia and India while chasing. But they were under the pump in the next two games as their batting collapsed on the slow turning wickets, making them underdogs in the final.
Knight felt two back-to-back losses would have no bearing on the final as they were trying new players and are using this tour to prepare for Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies from November 9 to 24.
“It’s disappointing for England. But we’ve taken this tour as a preparation for World T20 and for the younger players. It’s a bit frustrating that we haven’t learnt quickly but I think they will take some time. And sometimes you have to play out a few games in international cricket to see if they are right or wrong. It’s not going to have a bearing on the final.
“Obviously, two defeats is not ideal but T20 is a very fickle game, it changes very quickly. Looking forward to Saturday and hoping to turn it around and put in a good performance (in the final),” she said.
England landed in Mumbai just a few days before the tri-series, which started on March 21, while Aussie women in comparison came to Mumbai at the start of this month. They played a couple of practice games at Bandra Kurla Complex MCA stadium before moving to Baroda for the three-match ODI series. They were reportedly indulging in sauna and spa sessions after training at home to acclimatise to Indian conditions.
Australia will fly back after the final but there will be no respite for English girls as they will get exposed to Nagpur heat when they take on India in the three-match ODI series starting from April 6. Before that they will also play a practice match against India A team.