England captain Heather Knight | Photo: ANI
England captain Heather Knight is not feeling the pressure of heading into the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022 as defending champions.
Knight was speaking on the second day of the captains' opening media conferences, with the skippers of New Zealand, India and Bangladesh also interacting with the media on Saturday.
The 2017 winners will take on Australia in their opening match on March 5 in Hamilton and Knight believes it is Australia who head in as the team to beat.
"I think five years is quite a long time in international cricket and obviously Australia have been the outstanding team throughout that period and naturally, deservedly they go in as favourites. I don't think it [being defending champions] hangs heavy at all on our shoulders. I think the tournament we had in 2017 will give a lot of the players confidence that they can deal with the ebbs and flows of the tournament and know how to be successful in World Cups," said Knight.
"We'll be trying to take experience from that and we're not too worried about having the tag of obviously being reigning champions," she added.
England will still be hoping to keep a hold of the trophy come the final in Christchurch on April 3 and have been working to be at their best for this tournament.
"Naturally the team evolves in World Cup cycles. I think the last couple of years with Lisa [Keightley, head coach] coming in, the changes we've made as a bowling unit. We've really tried to be a little bit more aggressive, a little bit more attacking, look to take wickets particularly up front and through that middle phase," said Knight.
"You're just trying to get your players together that are going to be successful during those five years preparing for a World Cup...In the last couple of years before a World Cup, you are trying to really build to peak at that time," she added.
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First Published: Feb 26 2022 | 09:47 AM IST