Lauren Winfield believes ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 glory is well within England’s grasp if her side can maximise their full potential in Australia, writes Ella Jerman.
The reigning 50-over world champions are sporting a new look Down Under, with coach Lisa Keightley new in the role and youngsters Sarah Glenn, Mady Villiers and Freya Davies looking to impress on their global debuts.
Consistency has not quite been there for England in T20I cricket of late, Winfield and co. losing twice to Australia in last year’s Ashes before impressing in patches in the recent tri-series with the hosts and India.
Plenty of intrigue therefore surrounds Keightley’s new-look side but according to Winfield, that’s exactly what will work to their advantage.
“I don’t think we know how good we can be yet,” said the versatile batter. “That’s a really exciting space for us to be in.
“We’ve had a change in coach and also our batting order, while there are also a few young players who have come in which has changed the dynamic within the team - it looks completely different to the one we had at the last T20 World Cup in 2018.
“We haven’t been together as a T20 side for very long so we don’t really know what we can do yet.
“The tri-series was a good measure of where we’re at. We’ll take massive confidence from beating Australia in the Super Over and knowing we can get over the line when playing the favourites.
“It was the best preparation we could have possibly had.”
England get their World Cup campaign underway against South Africa in Perth on 23 February - a match that could prove crucial in a group that also includes Women’s T20 World Cup 2016 champions West Indies.
But for Winfield, the closer the competition the better. The England star believes the nature of the 20-over format means there’s no outright favourite, with the 2020 tournament shaping up like no other.
“I think this will be the best World Cup we’ve ever had,” added the 29-year-old. “With this format, in this country and with the groups as they are - it’s going to be the hottest tournament ever.
“T20 is such a fast, razzmatazz format of the game. Every team was put under the pump in the tri-series, we know it always has the chance of coming down to a last-over finish, whether you’re batting or bowling.
“It’s not just about two teams anymore but everyone is going to be a real contest. That’s absolutely what we want. We want to be pushed to the limits every single time we play.”