England all-rounder Arran Brindle today said that her team, which has played some of its league matches at the Brabourne Stadium, would have a slight edge over Australia during their Super Six game here on Friday.
“I think any advantage obviously that we have had from playing here, we know the lines and lengths that we need to bowl to perform well, so yeah we are very fortunate to play a few games at CCI. So we are just looking to make sure that we execute our plans,” said Brindle.
While Australia played their group matches at Cuttack, England played two out of three games at Brabourne stadium.
She, however, admitted that the defending champions would have to re-evaluate their plans, which were jolted by the defeat against minnows Sri Lanka in the league stage.
“We have played the last two games under pressure that we have had to win the games. I don’t think we are going to change our mindset other than going out to win. If we go and perform like we have done in the last two games, we will be a tough side to beat,” said Brindle.
“I think as soon as you lose a game in any competition it makes you re-evaluate and make sure that you fine tune every department. We have done that over the last two games and we are obviously looking to carry that into the Super Sixes. And if we do that and take maximum points from the next three games, we will be in a good position.
“I think sometimes you learn more in defeat than what you do when you go on to win every game. At the same time I don’t think with Sri Lanka, it was such a flash in the pan that may be at that point everybody saw.
“Obviously they went on to beat India in probably even more impressive circumstances. I think we didn’t know much about Sri Lanka, I think the world does now. It just shows how open this World Cup is and every team is here obviously to perform,” she added.
Asked about tomorrow’s clash against Australia, Brindle said, “I think any game against Australia means a huge amount to both teams. I am expecting a very competitive game and everybody going all guns blazing for a win.”
Brindle informed that skipper Charlotte Edwards, who did not bat in the last game as she wasn’t feeling well, was fit.
Meanwhile, Australia all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar though admitted that England would enjoy some advantage due to familiarity of the conditions, she said their warm-up match here was a good preparation.
“They might have a slight advantage, but we are coming in here fresh as well. So we are excited, although they might be a bit over the scenery,” Sthalekar said.
“I guess they have had a few more matches to really get an idea of the pitch and conditions. Obviously it depends on what wicket we have and how many times it has been played. I still feel our warm-up match was a good enough preparation.
“Obviously we trained out there, which was similar conditions anyway. The girls are getting a good grip and understanding of the wicket,” she insisted.
Sthalekar said the wicket here may assist the spinners.
“In Cuttack there wasn’t a lot of turn in the wicket. It was kind of two paced with variable bounce, especially the game against South Africa. The wicket that we played against New Zealand was truer that kind of reflected in the scores.
“Here what I have been able to see through the televised matches and our warm-up match is that there is a bit of turn in the wicket, which kind of excites me as a spinner. Playing the warm up match has given us good insights on what the wicket will hold,” she said.
“The conditions do change some time and I think there is something early on for the bowlers but then wickets tend to flatten out and become pretty much a batting paradise. We have kind of seen that with the ball swinging early on and then spinners coming into their own. I think we have had similar conditions in Cuttack, so here we are not that worried.”
Australia did not play well in the first two matches despite winning the games, but comprehensively defeated New Zealand, and Sthalekar feels that her team would need to put up similar performances in the rest of the tournament.
“I think we have actually been able to improve over those three games, where obviously the first two games we were playing against an opposition that we weren’t very familiar with. We were faced with some difficult situations but we were able to get through it,” she said.
“The last game against Kiwis we came out with the type of game we want to play throughout this tournament from now on.”
Australian middle order hasn’t fired so far but Sthalekar said, “I think middle order has done alright. The first two games, we lost some quick wickets. We were able to build some partnerships, obviously not as big as we would have liked.
“The good thing is that Jodie Fields is in form at the moment. She came off her maiden hundred at the WNC’s final not long ago, and is hitting the ball well. Erin Osborne and Ellyse Perry, they are all good strikers. I know they can go at run-a-ball and if required they will do the job. I think we have been able to do that so far.”
On coach Cathryn Fitzpatrick, she said, “Fitzie is a type of person who as a player had high expectations of herself and her teammates. That hasn’t changed as a coach. She always wants to get the best out of us. Obviously we haven’t played as we would have liked to in the first two ties. But she identified the areas that we needed to work on and did it in a manner that didn’t threaten us or put us on the back foot.
“We are actually, all of us gelling well and her coming into the role after being assistant has been good. She has a good understanding of the group and what we need and I think she is getting the best out of us at the moment.
“I think the players don’t want to sit next to her when we are on the field. I am sure she still gets that fiery attitude towards the game and gets annoyed if things aren’t done as we kind of had discussed in our team meetings. But at the end of the day, she is a coach and she can’t do anything about it. She has got to sit back and watch us.”
Keywords: Super Six