England Women in 'good place' to regain Ashes, says Heather Knight
"You don't get to play in home Ashes series very often, so they are the ones you look at and think 'I want to perform well and for the team to be successful'"
Last Updated: 02/07/19 1:22pm
Heather Knight insists England are in a "good place" to regain the Ashes from Australia during a "massive" series this summer.
England head into the multi-format contest, which starts with the first ODI on Tuesday, having won their previous 14 completed international matches, including four against West Indies in June.
Knight's team will be looking to win the Ashes for the first time since 2014, having lost the 2015 series on home soil and drawn in Australia in late 2017.
"We are in a good place at the moment but it's all about the next game and maintaining that winning mentality," said Knight, ahead of Tuesday's Sky Live game in Leicester, a match she has been passed fit for after suffering a mild hamstring injury.
"It's a massive series between the top two sides in the world and hopefully it will be a good one for us. It will be important to get off to a good start.
"You don't get to play in home Ashes series very often, so they are the ones you look at and think 'I want to perform well and for the team to be successful'.
"It's massive - our preparation has been brilliant and we are desperate to get the Ashes back."
Head coach Mark Robinson believes England will be the "underdogs" against the Southern Stars, whom he says are well managed by captain Meg Lanning and coach Matthew Mott.
"They are not the No 1 ranked team in the world for nothing," he said. "They have a good captain and are led well by an experienced coach. They will be a stern challenge.
"We go in as underdogs, which is fine - we are used to that tag. We just have to concentrate on ourselves and live in the moment."
Australia wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy admits retaining the Ashes away from home will be tough - and is even prepared for some stick from English fans who may wish to bring up the ball-tampering scandal that engulfed the men's team in South Africa in March 2018.
"To win on English soil will be incredibly difficult - England are very competitive in their home conditions and on a roll at the moment, winning a lot of games," Healy told Cricket Australia's official website.
"We're excited, a lot of the games are pretty much sold out which is great to see. Hopefully there's no sandpaper thrown at us!"
Watch every match of the Women's Ashes live on Sky Sports Mix (channel 121) and Sky Sports Cricket World Cup (channel 404), starting with Tuesday's first ODI at Leicester from 1.30pm.