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Knight wants England to show fighting qualities against Thailand

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Heather Knight says coming out fighting is in England’s DNA as they look to bounce back from defeat to South Africa against Thailand at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

  • Opening game defeat to South Africa was a hammer blow to Knight's side
  • The 2009 winners must win all their remaining games or risk elimination from Group B
  • Thailand begun with a loss to West Indies and face England for the first time in Canberra

Knight’s side were beaten by India in the opening game of their 2017 Cricket World Cup campaign on home soil before going on to win the tournament.

And as a below-par batting performance saw them slip to a six-wicket reverse in their opener against the Proteas, Knight wants the Three Lions to show their teeth in Canberra.

“Every game is must-win for us from now,” said Knight.

“It’s really important after the other night that we put in a really strong performance and come out fighting.

“This team has shown a history of that. When we’ve had a bad performance and haven’t started so great, the way we’ve bounced back in the next game has been outstanding.

“We’re going to have to do that against Thailand.”

Since Lisa Keightley took over in October, England have adjusted their batting order with Tammy Beaumont sent down to seven and Katherine Brunt often deployed as a pinch-hitter.

England’s batting fell flat at the WACA with Nat Sciver’s half-century standing alone as Knight and Fran Wilson struggled for rhythm at the crease.

The England skipper says this is no time for compromise on Keightley’s strategy and called on her charges to leave their reputations in the dressing room.

“As players you have to be flexible and each ball can be really important, so we have to get used to that,” she said.

“You have to be open-minded, to park the ego sometimes and know the job you’re doing is right for the team. We haven’t lost clarity, we just had a bad day and we’re looking to put it right.”

Despite defeat to the West Indies on Women’s T20 World Cup debut, Thailand made it tough for their opponents’ experienced batting line-up to chase down 79.

Thailand’s bowling attack is an unknown quantity with left-armer Soraya Lateh, who bowled Hayley Matthews through the gate in their opener, taking the ball for the first time in her 15 T20Is.

And for opener Natthakan Chantham, the game at Manuka Oval will be a chance to take the field with one of her cricketing heroes.

“Danni Wyatt is one of my idols, I like the confidence she hits the ball with and it will be great to go up against her,” said the 24-year-old.

“England have a good batting depth and batting strength, too. They’re aggressive in the field and powerful on the boundary and in the inner circle.

“We had a really good experience in the first game. The pitch was very good, there was good bounce and good pace, the pitches back home are low and slow.

“We have to prepare well to face England, they are such a strong team.”