Disappointed, but it was a learning experience, says Heather Knight after third ODI
England skipper Heather Knight has said that although she is disappointed about the seven-wicket defeat against New Zealand in the third ODI they are happy that they had a lot to learn from the game. Though the lost the final ODI, the tourists had sealed the series 2-1 with comfortable wins in the first two matches.
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Knight said that she loves the kind of games, where the team is tested. “Obviously, disappointed that we lost. We want to keep winning, but I think we will probably get more from this game than the first two, which is a real positive with what to come,” she said on Sunday (February 28).
She said that the pitch was on the slower side, and the New Zealand bowlers made the most out of the conditions, adding, “Particularly that spell from (Hannah) Rowe and (Sophie) Devine for first-change, me and Tammy Beaumont had to get through that.”
Knight got out at a crucial time, and that provided the White Ferns bowlers with an opportunity to peg away with wickets at the other end. She felt that they have to figure out a way to bat well on wickets, that are slow and post a competitive total on a consistent basis.
“Obviously, frustrated with the time I got out. We thought we were just getting going. I guess it is a learning process for the side as a batting unit. When the pitch is slow, we have to find a way to get 250-260 consistently.”
From 140 for three, England went down to 169 for five, after which they had to scrap their way past the 200-run mark. However, Knight doesn’t want to read too much into the lack of runs from their middle-order.
“The middle-order hasn’t had a higher amount of time in the middle in this series. We have to remember that, and we haven’t played a lot of ODI cricket. I think, overall, it is a real good learning for us.”
“We have a strong middle-order. One of the strengths is our depth in batting. We just have to find a way to bat on a wicket that’s a little bit slower, establish partnerships and get to a score that is super competitive.”
Applauding the efforts of Natalie Sciver with the ball, Knight said that the allrounder had played a bigger role as a bowler than with the bat. “She has become a real wicket-taker for us. She can bowl at any stage of the innings, which is amazing.”
As far as the result of the third ODI is concerned, she felt that the issue was more with the batting and not the bowling. “The main reason is that we were short of runs,” she said.
When asked about Beaumont’s incredible form in the 50-over format, Knight said that the opener is a crucial player in their team, adding, “Tammy has got a brilliant record probably over the last four or five years now. So really pleased that she has carried that on.”
“She is a real rock for us. Like I said, her consistency is a really good example for the rest of the team, I think. She has found that role we can bat around her a little bit and be more aggressive with her being a rock for us.”
Going into the T20I series, Knight felt that it could be an opportunity for the team management to see what players have to offer in the format ahead of the few significant tournaments.
“We have got an Ashes, which has a T20I leg. The Commonwealth Games is going to be in the T20 format. We have got some important tournaments coming up in T20 cricket. Potentially, it gives us a little bit of chance to have a look at seeing (what) everyone has got in T20s.”