Fitness will prove the key to World Cup success in India – Edwards

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CAPTAIN Charlotte Edwards says England’s women are as well-prepared as they possibly could be – as they embark on their World Cup campaign.

England kicked off their bid for 50-over glory in the early hours of this morning against Sri Lanka at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.

A veteran of four previous World Cups, Edwards boasts vast experience and believes her team – beaten finalists in last year’s World Twenty20 – could not have done more in the lead-up to the competition.

“We’re as fit as we’ve ever been,” she said. “We came back from (the World T20 in) Sri Lanka and asked more of the team and they’ve done everything we’ve asked of them so far.

“Hopefully that will translate into our performances. There’s been a real focus on our fitness. We know in a 50-over World Cup, with the schedule as it is as well, that it’s going to be tough.”

Edwards rejects the notion that England will be burdened by the pressure that comes with being favourites.

“We don’t see it as pressure. There’s just a real determination around the group,” she explained.

“There’s no better place to win than in India. We haven’t been successful there in the past, so that’s something we want to put right.

“That’s a real challenge for us and the team like a challenge. I don’t think there’s any bigger one than this.”

n Australian chief selector John Inverarity expects injured opener David Warner to sit out the one-day series against the West Indies in order to focus on the upcoming tour of India.

Warner suffered a slight fracture of his left thumb in a net session when facing team-mate Mitchell Johnson, ruling him out of the first two ODIs against the West Indies.

But Inverarity believes he will benefit from skipping the entire series after being named in the squad for the four-Test series against India in three weeks’ time.

“The chances aren’t very good (for him to face the West Indies), I mean the early indication is it’s a slight fracture and the indications are he’ll certainly be okay for the (first) Test,” said Inverarity.

“What we’re looking to do, during the next couple of days, is get more feedback on exactly when he will be able to come back.”