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November 5, 2018

Heather Knight

Georgetown, Guyana

Q. How's the feeling in the team?
HEATHER KNIGHT: To be honest it's been quite a long buildup, so it's really nice to get really close to getting out there and playing the first games. Obviously we're not playing our group games in Guyana, but nice to be out here and see a different part of the world, a slightly different country to what we come to usually, and obviously we've got one more warmup game against India to kind of fine-tune the team and our plans and obviously get to St. Lucia and see what we've got there and get cracking with the competition.

Q. Obviously a wash-out for Saturday against the Aussies, but you've had a few unofficial warmups; what has the team taken out of those?
HEATHER KNIGHT: Yeah, we've had some brilliant warmups. We had a game at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium with 5,000 people there, a real sort of party atmosphere. It was the best warmup game I've ever been involved in. Got some real good learnings actually from team, in terms of the wickets we're going to play on. And been able to adapt, as well, to go to St. Lucia, and then if we make it through that, we're going to have to come back to Antigua, so it's going to be different wickets, different amount of games played on a different wickets, so it's going to be adapting to those, and how we go about that, it wasn't particularly easy probably in Antigua to score. Batsmen had to swallow their ego a little bit and scrap out scores. It might be completely different in St. Lucia, so we've got to be prepared for that and obviously take some confidence in hopefully the last warmup game going into that competition.

Q. Is there anything in particular you want to work on refining that form against India?
HEATHER KNIGHT: Probably just working out what gets scores very quickly and being able to adapt. Twenty20 is such a fast-paced game, and sort of a bad 10, 15 minutes can lose you a game. As a team, as a bowling unit, as a batting unit, being sure or making sure we're adapting to conditions as well as we can. It might be that the outdoor wicket is quite slow from training today, and it might be quite tricky to score runs against. It's going to be a bit of a running game here in pockets, things like that.

Yeah, that last warmup game is a last chance for players to push for selection, I guess. We're pretty much set on our team. Probably got about 12 to pick between, but it's that last sort of trying to push for the players to put their name forward and be in good form come the tournament.

Q. Obviously the pitches in St. Lucia are probably going to be a little bit different. Do you know much about what to expect there?
HEATHER KNIGHT: Yeah, we've done a little bit of research. They're one of the higher scoring games in the CPL and things like that, but it's important we don't go with too many preconceived ideas. We've just got to see what the conditions are like when we get out there. It's not ideal not being there before the first game, but that's the same for everyone, so we've got to go there and see what it's like and hopefully go get it.

Q. And seeing newer faces in the squad this tour, how have they settled in?
HEATHER KNIGHT: Yeah, really well. Two of the left-arm spinners in particular have settled in brilliantly. Linsey Smith and Kirstie Gordon have played in more games and have really held their own on the international stage. This sort of atmosphere and the pressure we had the other day was exactly like a real international, and really pleased with how they've kind of stepped up. They've kept it very simple, I think, and done what's got them in the squad in the first place.

Yeah, so really an exciting thing for us. It's always an exciting thing to have a newbie on tour and see how they react, and takes you back to kind of your feelings on your first tour and things, and it keeps it fresh for the players, as well. Yeah, hopefully they get their chance and they can take it.

Q. Obviously no Sarah on this tour, but what have you made of Amy Jones' form in recent times?
HEATHER KNIGHT: Amy is a much better player than she was about a year ago. In terms of her game, her technical game, she's always been an outstanding keeper, in terms of the batting, but more in terms of how she goes about her innings, the confidence she has now that she's a completely different player from the last year. She's really believed in her ability, I think, she's always had that ability, but she really backs herself now, and I'm really excited for her now to see how she goes this tournament. She's a brilliant player; I think she's one of the best, probably slightly behind Sarah in the world. So yeah, really excited to see how she goes.

Q. Katherine has had an injury issue of late. Is she fully fit at the moment?
HEATHER KNIGHT: She's not quite there. We knew bringing her out here she wasn't fully fit yet, but we're hopeful that as she progresses, she can make it into the team. Katherine Brunt at 70 per cent in our team makes us a better team. We're going to see how she goes. It's a sort of day-by-day thing with her, how she reacts to amounts of training, but her progress has been brilliant. Couldn't have asked more of her, and yeah, we're really hopeful that she's able to play a part in the competition.

Q. What have you made of the local reception of the tournament so far, particularly Antigua where you've spent a bit of time already?
HEATHER KNIGHT: Yeah, it's been brilliant. Everyone has been really friendly. It's been a bit of a party atmosphere, and like I said, that warmup game was outstanding. If that's anything what the competition is going to be, it's going to be a great competition. It seems like it's really well publicized. There's lots of posters around, which is exciting, and hopefully it can really push on and get some good crowds in to build on the momentum of the World Cup happening last summer.

Q. Heather, you've obviously been involved in England teams for a while. How much does it say about the current strength and depth that you've got these three new faces and a number of good players at home that haven't been able to make the squad at all?
HEATHER KNIGHT: Yeah, it says a lot. It's something that we've really noticed, sort of the strength and depth increasing over the last sort of 18 months. We've left sort of two World Cup winning spinners at home and we've gone with new players, and I think it's a credit to the work that's done, players performing and that. It means you're going to get a chance internationally, and I think it's a great thing for us as a squad, trying to keep pushing us forward. Obviously competition for places means players have to be on their game and having to keep moving forward and getting better, which is a great thing to have as a squad, and hopefully it'll keep pushing us forward.

Q. The World Cup last summer in terms of momentum, from a team point of view obviously England came through quite a lot of close matches in that tournament on the right side of the result. How important is that going to be, do you think, this tournament when it comes down to those close matches?
HEATHER KNIGHT: Yeah, we did. We had some really tight games that we should have lost, I think, that we managed to get over the line in, and particularly on the tough wickets we played in so far that have been quite low scoring and quite hard to score. I think there's going to be some real tight games. That's the sort of character hopefully we can muster again and win some of those close games, and it's going to be a really exciting tournament. Every team has got match winners. There's going to be no easy games. So yeah, hopefully we can draw on that and be successful.

Q. And just a word on that warmup game against the West Indies you mentioned on Independence Day in Antigua. How impressed were you by the hosts and how they played, and how much have they come on since you've last seen them play?
HEATHER KNIGHT: Yeah, they've played very well. Obviously they were chasing a small total, so they were quite smart in how they went about the chase. Obviously we didn't get enough runs. It was a brilliant little sharpener for us and made us aware of what we want to do. But the West Indies were impressive and they seem obviously determined to do very well at home, as I'm sure every other team will be.

Q. Since the last World T20 two years ago, the Big Bash has grown in strength. How much do you think that's changed the way T20 cricket is played at the international level?
HEATHER KNIGHT: It's propelled the game forward loads. Obviously I've played in both competitions, and I think they're brilliant. I think it's given players from different countries, some of the South Africans that have played in the Big Bash, you've really seen them sort of come on, and it's just improved or increased sort of the amount of cricket people are playing. The internationals are playing all year-round, and you've seen the sort of innovations that are coming. Batters are a lot more fearless now. There's a lot more high scoring in general, and yeah, I think it's helped propel the game forward quite a lot.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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