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Pressure on England's top order

Pressure on England's top order

Claire Taylor, part of England's 2009 ICC World Cup winning team, believes the current side's top-order batters need to fire if they're to defend the trophy in India this February.

I think the squad has a good mix of youth and experience

Taylor, one of the finest women players of all time, praised the current squad - whose campaign gets underway against Sri Lanka on Friday 1 February - but sounded a word of warning about the approach of their top order.

"I think the squad has a good mix of youth and experience," she said.

Watch: Taylor on England's women

"But the top order is going to have to make the majority of the runs. There are some really explosive batters down the order and if we can get a good platform up front and score 250-270 most games then that's going to be the way to go."

England are certainly blessed with both talent and experience in their top five, with captain Charlotte Edwards, Lydia Greenway and Arran Brindle among those who have played more than 100 times for their country in all formats.

However it's Taylor's replacement at number three and namesake Sarah who will be under the most scrutiny, after a build-up during which she made national headlines after revealing that she may play 2nd XI men's cricket for Sussex next summer.

And Claire, the only woman ever to be named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year, hopes the glare of the media spotlight can spur Sarah into excelling in the coming tournament.

She added: "I'm hoping it hasn't distracted her and that it has actually had the opposite effect and she'll go out now and will show what she's really capable of in the women's game."

Claire Taylor is Chairman of MCC's Women's Cricket sub-committee

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