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England Women Tour Of India 2023: This Tour Is Important As Next Year's T20 Cricket World Cup Can Offer Similar Conditions, Says England Skipper Heather Knight

England women's cricket team captain Heather Knight said passionate crowds in India can be imposing on the visiting sides and her team will look to keep its focus amid all the noise

Heather Knight
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The T20 series in India gain significance as it will show how the young visiting players excel in conditions that will be similar to what the team will experience in Bangladesh during next year's T20 World Cup, said England women's skipper Heather Knight. (More Cricket News)

India and England are set to face off in a three-match T20 series, starting in Mumbai on Wednesday.

"I learned a lot about my game playing in Indian conditions, it really tests you as a cricketer, your skill level and how you do with the noise and the heat," Knight told reporters ahead of England’s training session in Mumbai on Tuesday.

"It is a really good place to accelerate development, to see how our young players cope with it. We have got a T20 World Cup in Bangladesh later on in the year (2024) so this tour is going to be valuable in terms of having similar conditions."

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be hosted by Bangladesh between September and October 2024.

A lot of members of England’s T20I squad arrived in India two days before the start of the series which will be played at the Wankhede Stadium on Dec 6, 9 and 10.

Knight said it would be challenging for her team to silence the Indian crowd as, despite their dominant record against the hosts, presence of "world-class" players make India a "brilliant" team.

"We have had some really good T20 games against them. They have got some world-class players in and in home conditions they are going to be tough (to face)," Knight said.

After winning the ODI World Cup and beating India in the final, Australia captain Pat Cummins had said that he took delight in silencing the Indian fans.

Knight said passionate crowds in India can be imposing on the visiting sides and her team will look to keep its focus amid all the noise.

"Sometimes you can feel like things are accelerating; rushed actually, when there is a crowd and the game is happening quite quickly. We have talked a lot about trying to get our own pace, and maintain our concentration in the moment," the England captain said.

"Trying to silence the crowd will be tougher — watching the men’s World Cup it is all you see and the support and the passion that Indian fans have and having experienced that, it is a hard thing to do to silence the crowd and even if there is not many of them they are usually very loud.

“We have to have a quick turnaround, adapting to conditions has to be accelerated a bit. How we do that, how we communicate, how we are going to take 10 wickets, how we are going to score runs?"

Knight said the experience of playing in India, including the Women’s Premier League (WPL) earlier this year should hold her side in good stead.

"We have got some good experience of players playing in India as well which will be valuable. It will be a brilliant series between two best teams,” she said.

Having played in the WPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore wherein Knight shared the dressing room with some Indian players like Smriti Mandhana, Shreyanka Patil and Kanika Ahuja, the England captain said knowledge-sharing works two-ways.

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"It is brilliant that some of the RCB girls have got the chance to play for India on the back of what they did in the WPL. It works both ways, obviously I know those players better and they also know my game better,” Knight said.

England have seven wins in nine T20Is against India in their backyard and overall 20 wins from 27 matches, but Knight said it does not feel like they have a comforting factor as far as knowledge of conditions is concerned. 

"It feels like a long time actually since we have been to India, before that 2019 series we had a lot of tours here,” she said.

"It is how the Future Tours Programme pans out, and obviously, playing another WPL here in the calendar, there is going to be a lot of cricket here which is brilliant."

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