The England captain says the team is used to the conditions and its extensive match-practice will be an advantage
England sent out a strong message to its opponents with a dominant performance against India at the ICC Women's World Twenty20 in Galle on Saturday (September 29). Leading from the front was Charlotte Edwards, the captain, who made an unbeaten 50 as England cruised home by nine wickets to seal a semi-final berth.
Along the way, Edwards also became the first player in Women's Twenty20 history to score 1500 international runs. However, she was firmly focussed on the team, and not individual milestones. "I didn't know about the record," she said at the post-match press conference. "I scored 1000 runs last season, so to score 500 more feels good, but more importantly it is coming in a winning cause, which matters the most."
England will take on Australia in its final group match on Monday (October 1), and Edwards was quick to play a few mind games in the build-up to the big clash. "We're coming in here on the back of a lot of matches, so there is no real pressure on us,” she said. “We're completely used to the conditions. If there is any (pressure), it will be on Australia for sure. That game holds massive importance to us, and there will be no letdown in intensity from our side."
England's batting has looked solid in its outings against Pakistan and India, and Edwards attributed the success to a change in mindset. "It is important to adapt quickly and we've done that,” she said. “All our batters have trained hard and undergone extended net sessions in these conditions, so we're really well equipped. The pitch here was as good as any I've played on in recent times, so that helped too.”
Mithali Raj, the Indian captain, was dejected to miss out on a semi-final berth, but offered no excuses. "We played well below our potential," she said. "We knew we had two former champions in our group, and we had to play out of our skins, but we underachieved."
India's decision to bat first evoked mixed responses given the weather in Galle, but Raj justified that decision. "I think our bowlers are low on confidence, so we thought it would be better for the batters to put up a good target, which unfortunately didn't happen today," she said.
Despite the loss, Raj felt there were some positives the team could carry into its last game against Pakistan. "Poonam (Raut) has played well in both the games, so that is a good sign,” she said. “The game against Pakistan may not have any consequence in terms of the tournament, but it is still a World T20 game. We are just looking at it as another opportunity to go out and perform. Hopefully we will get the right results."