London, March 31 (IANS) Former England skipper Charlotte Edwards believes the defending champions’ bowling attack has the potential to put an unbeatable Australia under pressure in the final of ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.
At Hagley Oval on Sunday, England and Australia will square off against each other to grab their hands on the silverware.
The road to the final for Australia and England has been contrasting. Australia are the top-ranked side in the format, have won eight out of eight matches in the ongoing World Cup and emerged victorious in 37 of their last 38 ODIs. Moreover, they beat England 12-4 during the multi-format women’s Ashes held before the World Cup.
On the other hand, England’s defence of the title they won at home in 2017 began on a bad note, losing their first three matches to Australia, West Indies and South Africa. But the Heather Knight-led side flipped the tables and are now on a five-fixture winning streak after thrashing South Africa by 137 runs in the semi-final on Thursday. In the huge win, opener Danni Wyatt made 129 while left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone clinched career-best figures of 6/36.
“Funny things can happen in a one-off game that means a lot. England have been under pressure more in this tournament than Australia. England need to put Australia under pressure and they have the bowling attack to do that. I think England need to bat first, get over 230 on the board and in a final I think that will be enough,” said Edwards to Sky Sports News.
Edwards, who led England to 50-over and 20-over World Cup titles in 2009, thinks Australia can be defeated despite the defeat in multi-format women’s Ashes. “I think the slate is clean for England. Who cares what happened in the Ashes? It’s a one-off game and I can tell you who is under more pressure and it’s Australia. Australia have had an unbelievable run of form. They are a very good cricket team but they are beatable. We pushed them in the Ashes and just couldn’t get over the line.”
Edwards, 42, had words of appreciation for England on reaching the final despite a horror start to the tournament. “England are full of depth and world-class players and have shown that in the last week or so. They are going in with form and a lot of their main players with good scores under their belt. I am delighted to see them in the final.”
“Two weeks ago this looked a long way off but I had firm belief that England would get there. It was never in doubt for me. They hadn’t played Bangladesh or Pakistan so the situation looked worse than what it was. It was not ideal, obviously, but results went their way and they needed to keep winning.”