Women's cricket needs more warm-up matches before series, Ebony Rainford-Brent believes
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Last Updated: 16/03/19 10:48am
Better preparation and an increased number of warm-up matches is required in women's international cricket, according to Sky Sports pundit Ebony Rainford-Brent.
England, the current 50-over world champions, played just one warm-up game before going on to lose the first two matches during their three-game One-Day International series defeat in India.
The visitors, who had been reduced to 11-4 in their warm-up game against Indian Board President's Women XI before claiming victory, suffered batting collapses in their first two ODIs against the hosts - although they improved and won the third by two wickets.
"England should have been competitive," Rainford-Brent said. "Their preparation was a bit poor. They had just one game and were 11-4 in the warm up and as we all know you've got to be prepared.
"When you know when the games that count and are really being measured are, I think there needs to be two more games (beforehand).
"If we're honest the women's game hasn't got to saturation point yet, the men's game it is hard to fit in warm-ups, but with the women's game I think there needs to be a minimum of two warm-up games.
"It is to make sure your key players are getting a run out, otherwise you don't start key series ready to go and that is what happened in this series. England were on the back foot and they only really warmed-up in that third ODI."
The ICC Women's Championship is contested by eight teams to determine qualification for the 2021 50-over World Cup with the top four teams, along with hosts New Zealand, qualifying directly for the tournament.
England will also automatically qualify for the competition by virtue of being the current holders, but currently lie fifth in the table, behind Australia, India, South Africa and the White Ferns.
And, Rainford-Brent believes their inconsistency lies at the heart of their disappointing position in the Championship table.
"England will be fine but equally as the team that is most resourced and arguably the most talented, they should not be behind South Africa and New Zealand in that table," she added. "We saw a lot of the cricket England played last year (against the two sides) and they are not a worse team than those two.
"This Championship shows the consistent sides and at the moment England, even in series they should be winning 3-0, they keep dropping a game here or there a bit like in India. The challenge between now and the Women's Ashes is being consistent."