Can Heather Knight lead England to their Consecutive World Cup Trophy?

England’s captain Heather Knight celebrates her 31st birthday today, December 26. True to her name, the top-order bat has been nothing less than a knight in shining armour on many occasions for England, be it during the Ashes 2013 or during the ICC World Cup 2017, which England won.

Heather Knight – Backstory

Heather Knight keeps a tight hold on the Women’s World Cup trophy. Photograph: Harry Trump-IDI/IDI via Getty Images
Heather Knight keeps a tight hold on the Women’s World Cup trophy. Photograph: Harry Trump-IDI/IDI via Getty Images

 

Coming up the ranks from domestic cricket, Knight made her international debut in 2010 against India in an ODI. After that in the same year, she made her T20I debut against Sri Lanka. In January 2011, she made her Test debut against Australia. Over her ongoing illustrious career of more than a decade, the right-handed batter has mustered 4,583 runs in 196 innings, including 14 Tests, 112 ODIs and 85 T20Is. Apart from her prolific batting record, she is more than a handy right-arm-off spinner. She has 80 international wickets to her name, including a five-wicket haul. An incredible contributor with both bat and ball, she is also known to be a good leader, evidence of which is England’s World Cup win in 2017 under her able leadership. She took over the captainship from Charlotte Edwards in 2016 and there was no doubt that those were going to be big shoes to fill for Knight.

Heather Knight’s Records

The England captain brings up her 2nd ODI century and has led her team to the brink of victory. PC: Twitter
The England captain brings up her 2nd ODI century and has led her team to the brink of victory. PC: Twitter

 

Looking back at her international cricketing journey so far, one of the unique records that she holds is that she is one out of the three women cricketers to have a half-century and a five-wicket haul in a single ODI innings. She became the first woman cricketer to do so on June 20, 2016 against Pakistan in Leicester. She is also a member of the elite club which boasts of payers scoring 250 runs and picking up 10 wickets in a single ODI series.

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Heather Knight, the Skipper

There is seldom any doubt that Knight is one of the most decorated woman cricketers of England, thanks to her contributions with bat, ball and ofcourse her leadership. Now, with the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 less than three months away, Knight has a lot to look forward to. She will look to prepare herself and her team well for the mega event as the English eves will be defending their championship. Prior to the World Cup, England will lock horns against Australia in the Ashes that will be played Down Under from January 27. This Ashes will serve as a good preparation for both the teams ahead of the ICC event.

Heather Knight in 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup

 

Heather Knight and Co after Winning Women's World Cup 2017
Heather Knight and Co after Winning Women’s World Cup 2017. Pic Credits: Getty Images

 

Going back to 2017, she led her side from the front. Despite losing to India in the opening game of the tournament, Knight instilled confidence in her players on the day of the final, that they could beat the Women in Blue. In one of her interviews, she discussed about the three rules of captainship, which were to give feedback to players, stay calm and composed and slow down the game if required. These three golden rules of captainship could have helped her to achieve the ultimate in the World Cup 2017, which was her first as a captain.

Heather Knight in 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup

Heather Knight. Pic Credits: wisden.com
Heather Knight. Pic Credits: wisden.com

 

Fast forward to 2022, all eyes will be on England, whether they are able to defend the title and win their fifth championship or otherwise. There is no doubt that England looks to be a solid side on paper. Ranked at number three in the current ICC ODI rankings, players such as Tammy Beaumont, Heather Knight, Katherine Brunt, Anya Shrubsole, Kate Cross and Natalie Sciver are among the top 10 batters, bowlers and all-rounders in women’s ODI cricket. With six out of the 11 players in good form, which is evident from their ICC rankings, England has a strong chance going into the World Cup.

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