Reigning the World Cup champions England wants to create history by defeating India in their own backyard for the first time in an ODI series, said visiting team captain Heather Knight on the eve of the opening clash on Friday.
“Yes, we have talked about it. It’s something we want to do as a team. We want to make history. When we came here last year, it was a slightly younger team. We weren’t able to do that; we lost that series 2-1,” said Knight.
The two teams had played a memorable World Cup final in 2017 when hosts England pulled off a sensational win.
“We have had some amazing games; that World Cup final was an amazing game to be involved in. Obviously the enormity of the occasion: to be in a WC final, to be sold out at Lord’s. We’ve played some good games, including last year in Indian conditions as well.”
According to Knight, her team’s strength was its depth.
“The ODI cricket we’ve played in the last couple of years, including the World Cup in England, that’s been very good. We have got performances from different players. We have got inexperience and a group that has been around for a while as well.
“We’ve got quite a settled batting line-up and everyone of the batters in the top six or seven are match-winners. So hopefully a lot more players can step up, as they have done in the last two years,” she added.
Knight agreed that India will miss the injured Harmanpreet Kaur.
“She has been a very good player for them. She has been playing in the leagues around the world. I know what sort of player she is. Any team in the world would miss her.”
On how to stop the in-form Smriti Mandhana, with whom she has played in the BBL in Australia, Knight said that the India opener has some weaknesses which her bowlers would look to exploit.
“I have obviously played with Smriti in Hobart [Hurricanes], very recently. She played in my team, so I know her very well. I know she’s a very good player. And having seen a lot of her, obviously, it gives us the chance to look at her weaknesses as well and try and figure out how we’re going to exploit them in the series,” she added.