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Lauren Winfield enjoying England’s ‘underdog’ status ahead of World T20

UK & international sports | Published:

Heather Knight’s side are looking to make it a white-ball double after the 50-over World Cup success.

Lauren Winfield was part of England's triumphant 50-over World Cup success last year

Lauren Winfield believes England’s irrepressible nature will give them an added dimension at the Women’s World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.

England begin their campaign against Sri Lanka on Saturday in St Lucia, the venue for all four of their Group A fixtures, aiming to bag a world limited-overs double after memorably clinching 50-over glory last year.

They have shown a flair for shining in the face of adversity recently, most obviously when they snatched victory from the precipice of defeat against India in the World Cup final at Lord’s.

England went all the way in last year's 50-over World Cup (John Walton/PA)
England went all the way in last year’s 50-over World Cup (John Walton/PA)

The nucleus of that squad remains in tact, though they suffered a blow on the eve of their opener after it was confirmed seam bowling all-rounder Katherine Brunt would miss the tournament with a back injury.

With Fran Wilson called up as a replacement, England have enviable depth in reserve but Winfield pointed to their attitude as another reason for optimism.

Winfield told Press Association Sport: “I think that what we do know is that we’re a very resilient team and we’ve shown that we can perform under pressure against good teams.

“Over the last few years when our backs are against the wall often at times we’ve shown we can claw it back out of any situation which I think is a sign of a good team.

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“We’re a bit more unknown in T20 cricket in terms of we haven’t played a lot of it.

“We’re a different looking side but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s pretty similar to when we went into the 50-over World Cup last year. We weren’t favourites then and that didn’t bother us that much.

“We wouldn’t be favourites for this competition either but almost that underdog status and the unknown is not a bad thing for this group.

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“I think the mood in camp is pretty excited, really, and we’re chomping at the bit to get that first game under way now.”

England included three uncapped players in their 15-strong squad in left-arm spinners Kirstie Gordon and Linsey Smith and all-rounder Sophia Dunkley.

Winfield, meanwhile, is in line for a first T20 cap in more than two years having adjusted her role from opening to batting in the middle order.

The 28-year-old said: “I’ve never been at a T20 World Cup so I wanted to get in that squad and then I wanted to put my name forward for a spot in that XI.

“That’s kind of been what I’ve set my sights on and where I’ve looked to improve my game most has certainly been being more adaptable.

Lauren Winfield is poised for her first T20 international in more than two years (Mark Kerton/PA)
Lauren Winfield is poised for her first T20 international in more than two years (Mark Kerton/PA)

“I’ve played most of my cricket up the top. But I wanted to show another dimension to my game in terms of batting anywhere and not be pigeon-holed to opening the batting and batting at the top of the order.

“It’s different and my job at the top of the order has been to set the game up whereas now it’s to finish the game off.

“I feel like I’m constantly learning about the role but it’s one that I’m really enjoying and can hopefully be successful in.”

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