Laura Marsh column: England women ready for India series

By Laura MarshEngland all-rounder
Laura Marsh

With only a few days to go before the India series starts, there is plenty of excitement and energy around the group.

Assuming this monsoon season ends, we are set to play two Twenty20 internationals and five one-day internationals.

India are a mix of world-class experience and emerging young talent and will be an exciting challenge in our first series of the summer.

Their main players are Jhulan Goswamiexternal-link and Mithali Raj.external-link Goswami gives India a new-ball threat - she bowls with pace and control and her tall frame allows her to get more bounce than most.

Raj is a classy top-order batter who has scored over 5,000 runs for India. These two have been consistent performers for many years and we will be looking to keep them as quiet as possible.

Our preparations for the series have gone well, with squad training sessions at Loughborough and Lord's.

The weather hasn't been particularly helpful in providing us with game time, with most county and club fixtures abandoned so far this season. Fingers crossed that the weather gods are good to us through the series.

Our recent success over the winter has given us plenty of confidence, and it was great to see so many contributions from different players throughout the tour of New Zealand.

Mithali Raj hits out against England in the 2009 World Cup
Mithali Raj, who hit 59 against England in the 2009 World Cup, is the number two-ranked batter in the ICC women's world rankings

It's an exciting time to be involved in England women's cricket. We've got a really talented squad and competition for places is extremely high. This creates an environment where we are all challenging each other on a consistent basis, which can only be a good thing.

With the World Twenty20 and ODI World Cup taking place within the next year, the coming series will provide us with plenty of opportunities to apply our skills and gain valuable time out in the middle.

We kick off against India with Twenty20 matches at Canterbury and Chelmsford on 26 and 28 June. These games will be played ahead of men's Friends Life t20 matches (Kent v Middlesex and Essex v Sussex) and will be televised on Sky Sports.

These are followed by five ODIs starting at Lord's, the "home of cricket", and finishing at the picturesque setting of Wormsley on 11 July.

In recent years we have had some fantastic support at our games and hopefully this summer will be even better.