Heather Knight calls on batters to step up as England bid to get World Cup back on track

England captain Heather Knight called for batters that flopped against South Africa to step up against Women’s T20 World Cup minnows Thailand. 

Knight’s side were beaten by six wickets in their tournament opener as Dane Van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp’s 84-run partnership helped the Proteas prevail. 

And with Nat Sciver’s half-century standing alone in a sloppy batting display, Knight isn’t sparing the reputations of her star players.

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“I think the main key is to bat better,” said Knight. “The main difference was that big partnership between Dane and Kapp, and that’s what we didn’t have. The clusters of wickets and the little spell in the middle cost us. 

“It’s about making sure we’re being really busy and if it’s hard to bat, we’re really rotating the strike. You have to be open-minded, to park the ego sometimes and know the job you’re doing is right for the team. We haven’t lost clarity, we just had a bad day and we’re looking to put it right.

“The one real positive is the depth, we’re playing eight batters and with the way our bowling unit is going, we’ve got different skill sets in that batting line-up and real talent in that line-up.

“We didn’t show it the other night, but we’re determined as a group of batters to turn that round.”

Thailand didn’t make life easy for the West Indies on T20 World Cup debut, reducing the 2016 winners to 26-3 in pursuit of 79. 

The pressure will be on England to win their next three games to ensure they emerge from Group B and seal a place in the semi-finals. 

The 2009 T20 World Cup winners are no stranger to difficult starts, losing their 2017 50-over World Cup opener to India en route to famously winning the tournament. 

Knight feels she sees the best of her side when their backs are to the wall. 

“Every game is must-win for us from now,” said Knight. “It’s really important after the other night that we put in a really strong performance and come out fighting. 

“This team has shown a history of that. When we’ve had a bad performance and haven’t started so great, the way we’ve bounced back in the next game has been outstanding. We’re going to have to do that.”  

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