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Women’s T20 WC : You cannot be timid against Australia, have to take them on : Nasser Hussain

New Delhi : Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes the Heather Knight-led side cannot afford to be timid against defending champions Australia in the Women’s T20 World Cup, saying one has to take on Meg Lanning & co to emerge victorious.

The eighth edition of the Women’s T20 World Cup will be held in South Africa from February 10-26, with Australia looking to achieve a three-peat of world titles in the shortest format of the game.
“The problem for England, as with most sides, is that you go through the group stages and then are suddenly facing Australia where your standards need to be top-notch.

It is quite the jump from facing everyone else to then facing Australia. If you do play Australia, you cannot be timid. You have to take them on,” wrote Hussain for Sky Sports on Friday.

England had won the inaugural edition of the tournament at home in 2009 and haven’t got a title since then. But Hussain believes Heather, the 2017 ODI World Cup winning captain, can get the T20 World Cup title, aided by bright youngsters on her side.

“England are a very good team and have had a bit of a turnaround of players since winning the 50-over World Cup in 2017. Some younger blood has come in, including the very exciting Alice Capsey.”

“They are very well led by Heather Knight. With the young talent around, you need that experience in high-pressure situations and that is exactly what Knight provides having been there and done it before in knockout games.

She is a cool, calm leader.” “New coach Jon Lewis has also tried to take on what he has learned from the men’s game and instil an aggressive, attacking style of cricket.

That suits T20 and the batters England have in Capsey, Danni Wyatt, and Nat Sciver-Brunt.” Hussain believes left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone, the top-ranked bowler in T20I and ODI cricket, will be England’s trump card in the tournament.

“She is incredibly accurate, very tall and very difficult to get after. She is not a massive spinner of the ball but T20 for spinners is a lot about bowling that heavy ball into the pitch, skidding it on and targeting the stumps, bringing lbw and bowled into play.

Rashid Khan does that for Afghanistan in the men’s game and Sophie does it for England in the women’s.” Talking about his picks for the semifinals, Hussain said, “I would be surprised if Australia, England and India don’t make the semifinals and for me, it is then one out of New Zealand and South Africa.

I would probably go New Zealand because of the experience in their line-up in Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine and the Kerr sisters Amelia and Jess.”



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