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Heather Knight: England can cope with being the hunted

England have knocked Australia off the top of the world rankings.

CRICKET 04/10/17 00:06
Heather Knight: England can cope with being the hunted

England captain Heather Knight says her side are ready to go from being hunters to hunted after replacing Ashes rivals Australia on top of the International Cricket Council’s rankings.

England Women are enjoying a memorable year under Knight’s captaincy, winning a triumphant home World Cup in July and now dislodging the Southern Stars from a position they have held since the table was introduced in 2015.

They now have the chance to extend their sequence of successes by reclaiming the Ashes in a tour which spans seven matches, three formats and four weeks, starting in Brisbane on October 22.

“We have been successful and the hardest thing in sport is to keep being successful when you’re being hunted,” Knight told Press Association Sport. “When you’re on top everyone wants to beat you and that’s something we’ve talked about: winning after winning.

“There’s no better time to have an Ashes than straight after winning the World Cup. We’ve been back together in training these past couple of weeks and swapped stories about our celebrations.

“But you’re only as good as your last game so we want to keep being successful. If we can win this series then it will be a really special 2017 and we’ll bask in that glory, but only if we do.”

Knight knows home advantage manifests itself in a very obvious way in down under, with the public never shy to reveal their partisan colours.

Yet Knight was part of the victorious tour in 2014 and, minicking a typical Australian tactic, turned the spotlight back on home skipper Rachael Haynes, who has the unenviable task of standing in for the peerless Meg Lanning.

“Of course Australia is a hard place to play, they always remind you that most of the country is against you,” she said. “But I have fond memories of winning there and you have to love it. We’ll be looking to put as much pressure on Rachael and her team as we can. Meg is a brilliant player and they are going to miss her, but we are just focusing on who we do come up against.”