Jon Lewis is keen to bring the World Cup fight to Australia’s leadership

England head coach Jon Lewis is determined to take on Australia’s “standard bearers” at the Women’s T20 World Cup as he tackles the biggest job of his career.

Lewis is no stranger to the international scene, having represented his country in all three formats as a player before leading the men’s under-19 set-up and working alongside the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad as the ECB’s head of bowling for nearly two years.

He was a key part of Chris Silverwood’s backroom team during last winter’s Ashes, when Australia cruised to a 4-0 victory, and left the men’s game in December to take over take on Lisa Keightley.

Jon Lewis, left, films James Anderson's bowling action

Jon Lewis films James Anderson’s bowling action in his previous role with the England men’s team (Jason O’Brien/PA)

England’s main rivals are known and their dominance is even more impressive, with Australia’s women winning the last three World Cup tournaments and holding the Ashes for the last four series.

“This is 100 percent, definitely, my biggest job to date,” Lewis told the PA news agency.

“As a skills trainer in men’s fit you have influence, you have a say, but the decisions are not yours, they are someone else’s. This is much more of a challenge for me.

“Australia are definitely the standard bearers in the women’s game, they are the benchmark team. They have been very successful since 2017, when we last won the World Cup, and they dominated.

“We’ll go into this tournament with Australia as favourites, and rightly so, they should be. But with favor come the demands and the pressures to continue.”

England kick off their campaign on February 11, taking on the West Indies in Paarl, having thrashed the same opponents 8-0 on aggregate on their recent white-ball tour of the Caribbean.

Heather Knight, right, sweeps against New Zealand

Lewis wants to unlock more from senior players such as captain Heather Knight (Simon Marper/PA)

Although the challenge on the pitch was tougher than expected, Lewis took his time to get the measure of his new team and believes that even the most established people in the group have room to reach new heights.

“I think they all have levels to explore, in terms of how they play the game. The newer players are clearly exciting, with high potential, but the senior group is one with a lot of untapped potential.

“Heather Knight, our captain, is a very talented player and a very good leader, but I see more in her tank in terms of how creative she can be, how unconventional she can play and a captain.

“There’s Nat Sciver-Brunt, one of the best players in the world, and she can go even further with the speed she can play. She can lead teams. Sometimes I feel that those two players were really responsible for the results of the team, so I told them that it is my job to raise the standard of everyone so that they can be even more outstanding.

“If you can free some of their minds, let them know they don’t have to stick to how it’s always been done, the talent we have is so abundant. This group can do anything they want. They might not understand it yet, but it’s my job to get that out of them.”

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