Women's Cricket World Cup: England 'thrive' on pressure

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England women in "a good place" for World Cup defence

Pace bowler Anya Shrubsole says England will thrive on the pressure of being defending champions of the Women's Cricket World Cup.

England, winners in Australia in 2009, were beaten in the final of the World T20 by the Aussies in October.

Shrubsole, 21, told BBC Sport: "Being defending champions is a pressure we thrive on.

"We know there are teams trying to catch us and that's why we do everything we can to stay ahead."

Charlotte Edwards's side begin their campaign in India against Sri Lanka on 2 February.

England reached the final of the World Twenty20 having lost only one of 25 T20 internationals before the four-run final defeat by the Southern Stars.

They now travel to India with eight of the World Cup-winning squad of 2009, with Shrubsole believing that experience will be invaluable.

"The more you play in these big tournaments, the easier they become," said the Somerset right-armer. "You're aware of what pressures there are and what nerves you might experience.

"I'm a massive believer in that winning is a habit, you know what winning feels like and what you have to do in order to win."

Preparations for the tournament were stepped up with a training camp at Loughborough last weekend, with the squad departing for acclimatisation in Sri Lanka on 17 January.

"In terms of our preparation, we're probably too prepared," said wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor. "We're ready to go and just looking forward to leaving.

"In the testing at Loughborough we have all done better than ever before. You've got to applaud the work that has been done behind the scenes, but we also deserve credit for getting better and better."

England will also face the hosts and West Indies in Group A, needing to finish in the top three if they are to progress to the Super Six stage.

Should they get through, they will meet the three advancing sides from Group B in the second phase, with the top two teams from the pool of six contesting the final.

Taylor added: "We back ourselves to at least get through the group stages but, ultimately, we are going there to win it."

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