England Women captain Heather Knight confident her side can regain Ashes in Australia
By Sam Drury
Last Updated: 28/10/17 9:36am
England captain Heather Knight says her side are confident of regaining the Ashes in Australia this winter but says they will have to play “brilliantly well” to do so.
The squad for the tour was announced on Tuesday with 18-year-old spinner Sophie Ecclestone replacing Beth Langston in the only change to the group that won the World Cup in July.
Knight has backed her side to avenge the defeat in 2015 if they play to their potential and cap off an already memorable year for English women's cricket.
"We are confident but we're going to have to play brilliantly well though, Australia are a really strong side and hold the Ashes at the moment - and they're on their home turf," she told Sky Sports News.
"It is going to be a really exciting series I think, we saw in the World Cup the game we had with the Aussies down in Bristol was an absolute belter, three runs in it, and we are two very closely matched players.
"Both teams have got world class players and I think it is going to be a very exciting series.
"What a summer it has been and I'm massively excited for the Ashes series. It is the perfect timing for us as a group to have that big Ashes series, what a year 2017 could be if we can go out there and get the Ashes back as well."
Knight also delivered a ringing endorsement of Ecclestone as the teenager returns to the squad for the first time since last autumn's tour of the West Indies.
"Sophie made her international debut two years ago, she's a really exciting young cricketer, a brilliant left-arm spinner," Knight added.
"A bubbly Cheshire girl, lots to say for herself but she's got a bright future in the game. I was really impressed with how she performed in the Super League and in our warm-up games.
"She's got a lovely action and adds something a bit different, an extra spinner and our spin stocks look very healthy."
The England squad will fly out to Australia next week ahead of the first match of the multi-format series, an ODI in Brisbane, on October 22.