I expect England-Australia to be a cracker of a match

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Charlotte Edwards

Charlotte Edwards is a former England’s women’s captain who played 23 Tests, 191 ODIs and 95 T20Is between 1996 and 2015. She led England to victories in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2009 as well as the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2009. In 2008, she won the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year award.

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"England’s batting line-up is looking so strong and it has scored big runs against Pakistan and Sri Lanka," says Edwards
England Women

As an England player, the games you play against Australia are the biggest without question. I’m sure all of the England squad would have checked the schedule when it first came out and looked for their match against the Aussies first. I’m not even playing any more and I immediately remembered Sunday 9 July at Bristol and have been looking forward to it ever since. This is definitely the biggest league game for both sides.

So often in women’s cricket England and Australia have been up there as the best two teams in the world. The fact that these two sides haven’t played each other since the Ashes 2015 puts even more hype and significance on the fixture. Both sides will be interested to see where they are at in relation to each other, so Sunday is a big day for both teams and I can’t wait.

It will give England huge confidence if it can beat Australia, but I’m not sure how much bearing it will have on who ultimately lifts the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. England’s batting line-up is looking so strong and it has scored big runs against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Then to do it against South Africa was incredible, but to back that up against Australia would put England in a really strong position.

The wicket for England versus South Africa at Bristol was outstanding and I think it’s the perfect venue for this match. Both teams have played there, will know the conditions and it’s all set to be a brilliant game. There will be a bumper crowd, it will be a superb advert for the tournament and will raise the profile of this World Cup even further.

In years gone by, South Africa would have probably been bowled out for 150 in reply to England’s 373 for five, but it gave itself a real chance of chasing that huge total down on Wednesday
In years gone by, South Africa would have probably been bowled out for 150 in reply to England’s 373 for five, but it gave itself a real chance of chasing that huge total down on Wednesday

In terms of this tournament, I’d give it an eight out of 10 so far – only because I think there is so much more still to come. It’s exceeded my expectations already, the games just keep getting better and I can see improvements in every team.

In years gone by, South Africa would have probably been bowled out for 150 in reply to England’s 373 for five, but it gave itself a real chance of chasing that huge total down on Wednesday. South Africa would have been disappointed to lose the game but produced so many positives in getting its highest ever score against England. The tournament is constantly improving game-on-game and every side is stepping up and responding. Everyone is seeing the high standard of cricket that is being played and wants a part of that action.

Pakistan has had its moments too and Sri Lanka has been the surprise package for me. A lot more of its players are contributing with the bat and in every game, bar one, it has gone over 200. For the lower-ranked sides it’s getting those small wins in matches and they are all making genuine progress.

At the start of this tournament I tipped England to win. The more I see it play the more I feel comfortable with its batting line-up. Four of its top five have scored centuries now and that’s a big statement to send out to the other teams. The question remains around its bowling combinations and whether it has enough depth in its attack. That question will largely be answered on Sunday against Australia. It’s going to be a cracker.

Chamari Atapattu has announced herself to the world and there’s more to come
Chamari Atapattu has announced herself to the world and there’s more to come

My five stars of the tournament so far

Chamari Atapattu – purely because of that incredible 178 for Sri Lanka against Australia. That goes down as one of the great hundreds of all time. She’s announced herself to the world and there’s more to come.

Smriti Mandhana – she burst onto the scene in the first couple of games with well-made runs and has been the focal point of a really impressive India campaign.

Laura Wolvaardt – I was really impressed with the young opener against England. She’s an exciting talent for the future and, at just 18-years-old, will be a huge asset for South Africa over the next few years.

Laura Wolvaardt  is an exciting talent for the future and, at just 18-years-old, will be a huge asset for South Africa over the next few years
Laura Wolvaardt is an exciting talent for the future and, at just 18-years-old, will be a huge asset for South Africa over the next few years

Sarah Taylor – the comeback from the England keeper-batsman is a brilliant story. The fact that she is back playing is great in itself, but her innings against South Africa was one of the best I’ve seen. It’s great to see her back in the runs and keeping well too.

Ellyse Perry – we already knew she’s a world-class talent, but she’s shown why in this World Cup with consistent performances throughout. For Australia she is its rock and continues to live up to her glowing reputation.

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