Shropshire Star

England yet to hit top form in ODIs, says captain Heather Knight

England get their ODI series against New Zealand under way on Wednesday.


Heather Knight admits England are still working on finding their best form in ODI cricket as they prepare for their upcoming series against New Zealand.

They begin the series with three 50-over matches, kicking off in Chester-le-Street on Wednesday.

England enjoyed T20 and ODI wins over the White Ferns in New Zealand earlier this year and followed up with victories in both formats against Pakistan on home soil.

They completed an ODI series victory against Pakistan with an emphatic display at Chelmsford, where Nat Sciver-Brunt hit an unbeaten 124 off 117 balls before taking two wickets for 11.

England celebrating their series win against Pakistan
England secured an ODI series victory against Pakistan last month (John Walton/PA)

Maia Bouchier and Danni Wyatt also contributed with the bat, while Sophie Ecclestone took three for 15 and England captain Knight believes that game is the “perfect blueprint” for future ODI success.

She said: “We’re still finding our best cricket in the ODI format, I think. We’re really playing some brilliant cricket in T20, but ODI there’s a few areas we can do a little bit better.

“That last game against Pakistan at Chelmsford was the perfect blueprint about how we want to play our ODI cricket and dominate those sorts of teams in the way that we played.

“The tempo of the game, we got that really right in that game so we just want to do more of the same.

England celebrating taking a wicket
England kick off their ODI series against New Zealand on Wednesday (John Walton/PA)

“T20 is a bit more of a focus with the World Cup coming up, but there’s a hell of a lot of big ODI games in the next couple of years, so making sure we’re training really well and getting real clarity on how we want to play the game and put in some good individual performances.”

England have called seamer Ryana MacDonald-Gay into the ODI squad.

The 20-year-old will link up with the squad ahead of Wednesday’s match as a replacement for Kate Cross, who is out of the first ODI with an abdominal niggle.

Knight said: “We’re hoping she (Cross) can recover in the next few days and be available for that second and third game.

“She’s that leader of the attack. We’ve got quite a young seam bowling group so Kate’s the kind of old stalwart of that and you know what you’re going to get with Kate.

“She’s just picked that (the injury) up in the development game she played against New Zealand on Friday. A bit of a blow, but calling up Ryana is to give us a little bit more cover.

“Ry’s a brilliant young player, she really impressed in the England A trip to New Zealand and she’s been a standout bowler domestically in 50-over cricket.

“She’s a really bright prospect, really accurate, really good skills and is an exciting young cricketer.”

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