ICC: Cross – England bowlers need to stick to Plan A

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Photo Credit: ICC

After England’s bowling was questioned following each of their two ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 defeats, seamer Kate Cross believes she and her teammates just need to stick to Plan A against South Africa.

England’s bowlers shipped 310 runs against Australia before more wayward bowling against the West Indies saw them miss out in another narrow loss. 

The defending champions have now made it to Tauranga where they will face a South Africa team who are yet to really get going with the bat, despite winning both of their matches.

Cross said: “As a bowling unit, it’s just really important that we remember why we’ve been so successful in the past 18 months, and we probably might have gone away from those plans a little bit too soon.  

“You’ve got to bowl your best ball for as long as you can really in one-day cricket, but Katherine [Brunt] and Anya [Shrubsole] have obviously got a record that speaks for itself and they have been a perfect example of this in the World Cup final, they’ll come into their own when we absolutely need them. 

“An exciting thing for me is that we’ve not quite seen our bowling unit at its absolute best yet, so when we can start stringing performances together in terms of the batting unit and the bowling unit and the fielding unit together, then we stand ourselves in good stead to start getting some wins on the board.” 

Cross is making her debut at a World Cup at the age of 30, and while the experience is still new, she is enjoying feeling at home in Mount Maunganui. 

“It’s a bit odd to say that I’m 30 years old and it’s my first World Cup, but it’s been a strange one,” she said. 

“Obviously, it’s not really been the start that we wanted and I think you come to these tournaments and you really want those big moments because you know that all eyes are on you.  

“We’ve not had that as a team yet and personally I’ve not had those moments myself yet, so I just want to make sure that I’m doing my role for the team as best as I can, and as long as I can.  

“But it’s been brilliant, it’s obviously great to tour New Zealand as well, it’s such a gorgeous country.  

“We’ve really enjoyed the places we’ve been to so far and the Mount in particular, it’s a favourite of a lot of the girls so it’s been nice to be here for a couple of days and we’ve got two games here back-to-back. It’s nice to spend some time in a part of a country that we love.” 

Cross was not involved when England defeated South Africa to reach the 2017 final, and while Proteas captain Sune Luus was on the losing side, she is not thinking of getting revenge. 

She said: “A lot has happened in those five years. Both teams have grown, the players’ games have changed, so I don’t think we need to look too much into that semi-final.  

“It’s five years ago and that’s a lot in the cricketing career, tomorrow’s a new game, a whole new stage, new World Cup as well, we’ll just take it as it is.” 

Despite two wins, South Africa have more to give and Luus is now preparing her team to face an England side with nothing to lose. 

“With England losing two games, you have got to expect that they’re going to come hard tomorrow. I don’t think they’re going to leave anything to chance,” Luus said. 

“I think they’re going to come all guns blazing and they’re going to want to play their best match to get points on the board. But I do think that puts a bit of pressure on them.  

“They need the points, but I think we’re ready for tomorrow as well. I think if we get the points that will really just give us the momentum that we need to just keep continuing in the World Cup and take one game at a time.” 

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