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England have 'untapped potential ' and 'can do anything they want' says Jon Lewis ahead of T20 World Cup

England head coach Jon Lewis: "I see more in Heather Knight's tank in terms of how creative she can be, how unconventionally she can play and captain. Nat Sciver-Brunt is someone who could go even further with the tempo she can play at. She can dominate teams"

Nat Sciver and Heather Knight (Getty Images)
Image: Nat Sciver-Brunt and Heather Knight have been backed to get even better by England Women head coach Jon Lewis

England have "untapped potential" and "can do anything they want," says head coach Jon Lewis, as he aims to mastermind a first T20 World Cup title since 2009.

England swept West Indies 8-0 across the formats in December in Lewis' first assignment in charge, with three one-day international victories followed by five T20 triumphs.

Skipper Heather Knight and vice-captain Nat Sciver-Brunt returned for that trip after hip surgery and a break for mental health reasons respectively and Lewis believes they both have room for improvement by being more "expressive".

Heather Knight (Pic credit - CWI Media)
Image: England captain Knight can become more 'creative', according to Lewis (Credit: CWI Media)

England, who were beaten by five-time champions Australia in the 2012, 2014 and 2018 T20 World Cup finals, begin their 2023 campaign against West Indies on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.

Speaking to the Press Association, Lewis, who succeeded Lisa Keightley as England Women head coach, said: "I think all of [our players] have levels to explore, in terms of how they play the game.

Live Women's ICC World T20 Cricket

'Knight can become more creative, Nat Sciver-Brunt can dominate'

"The newer players are obviously exciting, with high potential, but the senior group is one that still has a lot of untapped potential.

"Heather, our captain, is an incredibly talented player and a really good leader, but I see more in her tank in terms of how creative she can be, how unconventionally she can play and captain.

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"Nat is one of the best players in the world, and she's someone who could go even further with the tempo she can play at. She can dominate teams.

Nat and Katherine Sciver-Brunt share updated kits (Credit: ECB)
Image: Nat and Katherine Sciver-Brunt have revealed their updated kits (Credit: ECB)

"At times I feel those two players have felt really responsible for the results of the team, so I've told them it's my job to raise the standard of everyone so they can be even more expressive.

"If you can just free some of their minds up, make them realise they don't have to stick to how it's always been done, the talent we have is so abundant.

"This group can do anything they want to. They might not realise it yet, but it's my job to get that out of them."

'Australia the standard bearers in women's cricket'

Australia have won the previous two T20 World Cups, while last year they defeated England 12-4 on points to retain the Ashes and then beat them twice en route to claiming a seventh 50-over World Cup title.

Australian players celebrate their win over India in the Women...s T20 World Cup cricket final match in Melbourne, Sunday, March 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Asanka Ratnayake)..
Image: Australia celebrate winning the 2020 T20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

Former England men's bowling coach Lewis said: "Australia are definitely the standard bearers in the women's game, they are the benchmark team. They've done fantastically well since 2017, when we last won a World Cup, and they have dominated.

"We'll go into this tournament with Australia as favourites and that's right, they should be. But with favouritism comes the demands and the pressures to keep on winning."

Lewis added: "This is 100 per cent, for sure, my biggest job so far.

"As a skills coach in the men's set-up you have influence, you have a say, but the decisions aren't yours, they're someone else's. This is a much greater challenge for me."

Women's T20 World Cup - full fixture list (all times UK and Ireland)

All games live on Sky Sports

February 10 - South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Cape Town (5pm)

February 11 - West Indies vs England, Paarl (1pm)

February 11 - Australia vs New Zealand, Paarl (5pm)

February 12 - India vs Pakistan, Cape Town (1pm)

February 12 - Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, Cape Town (5pm)

February 13 - Ireland vs England, Paarl (11am)

February 13 - South Africa vs New Zealand, Paarl (5pm)

February 14 - Australia vs Bangladesh, Gqeberha (5pm)

February 15 - West Indies vs India, Cape Town (1pm)

February 15 - Pakistan vs Ireland, Cape Town (5pm)

February 16 - Sri Lanka vs Australia, Gqeberha (1pm)

February 17 - New Zealand vs Bangladesh, Cape Town (1pm)

February 17 - West Indies vs Ireland, Cape Town (5pm)

February 18 - England vs India, Gqeberha (1pm)

February 18 - South Africa vs Australia, Gqeberha (5pm)

February 19 - Pakistan vs West Indies, Paarl (1pm)

February 19 - New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, Paarl (5pm)

February 20 - Ireland vs India, Gqeberha (1pm)

February 21 - England vs Pakistan, Cape Town (1pm)

February 21 - South Africa vs Bangladesh, Cape Town (5pm)

Knockout stage

February 23 - First semi-final, Cape Town (1pm)

February 24 - Second semi-final, Cape Town (1pm)

February 26 - Final, Cape Town (1pm)

Both semi-finals and the final have reserve days

Watch England's T20 World Cup campaign live on Sky Sports Cricket. The team's opening game, against West Indies, is live from 12.30pm (1pm first ball) on Saturday.

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