Heather Knight backs England to reclaim the women's Ashes

100% Cricket podcast

By Rohit Sankar

Hit For Six!

England captain Heather Knight believes momentum is turning and her side can cause an upset to win the Ashes back from Australia during their upcoming series.

Knight discussed England's recent form with Nasser Hussain and Frankie Mackay on the latest 100% Cricket podcast and the veteran was suitably impressed with her team's efforts during the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa earlier this year.

England cruised through the group stages of that tournament unbeaten and in scintillating style, but were knocked out by a determined South Africa side in a cut-throat semi-final in Cape Town.

But Knight noticed a shift in mentality from her players during that event and thinks England can take that momentum into their upcoming home summer against Australia and reclaim the Ashes for the first time since 2014.

"I don't think I've known a side believe so much that they were going to get to the final," Knight said of England's T20 World Cup campaign.

Video Women's T20 World Cup 21 Feb 23
An incredible record win for England | Digital Daily: Episode 19 | Women's T20WC 2023
ICC Digital Insider Xoli Zondo is joined by Ebony Rainford-Brent on the Digital Daily as they discuss England’s massive win over Pakistan at the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2023

"Obviously that didn't happen, but I definitely noticed a shift in our mentality and I certainly think we'll take that into the summer."

England host Australia in the multi-format women's Ashes series from late June, with the teams doing battle in one Test match, three T20Is and three ODIs and the winner to be determined on a points-based system.

While Knight acknowledges how good Australia's recent form has been – they won last year's ICC Women's World Cup and backed that up with another title at the T20 World Cup earlier this year – the England captain believes being able to play the upcoming Ashes series on home soil will suit the fortunes of her side.

"We're going to have to play out of our skin to win (the Ashes), but we're going to have home support,” Knight said.

"The crowd sales and ticket sales have been awesome already and how we try and use that crowd to get on our side and try and entertain them and get them to help us be successful, I think it's going to be really important.

"We're going to have to play out of our skin to win (the Ashes)" – Heather Knight

"I'm super excited to obviously play in the home Ashes. They are pretty special to play in and it’s against the undisputed best team in the world as well so we are going to have to play super."

Getting off to a flying start in the one-off Test will be imperative to England's fortunes and Knight is aiming for a positive result in the five-day clash after leading her side to five straight draws in the format since 2017.

"I'll tell you what, I can't cope with another draw. I've captained a fair few Test matches now and I've got an unbeaten record – but I haven't won one yet!” Knight remarked.

"We've been pretty close to winning a few and, without a bit of rain, I think we would've done that.

“I'm certainly not that keen on a draw, so we will be looking to win that game and play really entertaining cricket."

Knight recently took part in the inaugural Women's Premier League in India and played alongside Ashes rivals Ellyse Perry and Megan Schutt in the Royal Challengers Bangalore side, which had plenty of international stars in their line-up.

The England skipper was impressed with the standard of play throughout the tournament and said she learnt plenty from watching how her contemporaries from other countries prepared for each match.

Video cwc19 31 Jan 23
Heather Knight's maiden T20I century | Greatest Moments

"I was really excited to see the overseas group that we had (at RCB)," Knight said.

"We've played a lot of cricket against each other. But I hadn't played much with Sophie (Devine) or Ellyse (Perry) or (Megan) Schutt. It was really interesting actually to see how they go about their business, how they structure their training, what they're like on the pitch, what their strengths are and probably what their vulnerabilities are as well.

"We had six high-quality (international) players. So having that experience again of not being captain, not being 100% sure you're going to play and kind of having that pressure of having to perform and looking over your shoulder a little bit. 

"And I think that's a really good perspective for me to get as a captain sometimes because you sometimes forget what players are going through or the pressure that just comes with obviously selection and fighting for your place a little bit. So that was a really good experience for me.

"The sort of friendships you make and the dynamics between different players when you play against each other is different, makes it more friendly but also makes it a lot more competitive I think as well because you know them and you want to get one over someone that you've played with."

Listen to the full episode with Heather Knight on the latest ICC 100% Cricket Podcast on your favourite platform.

More News