Kent and England captain Charlotte Edwards believes peaking at the right time and the key players firing consistently will be the keys to success in the ICC Women“s World Cup to be staged in Australia from 7 to 22 March.
The ICC Women’s Player of the year in 2008 was also of the view that next month’s tournament would be the toughest yet with the format also guaranteeing that only the two best teams in the world would qualify for the final.
"The World Cup is all about peaking at the right time and dealing with the pressure of big matches. I think the four pre-tournament favourites (England, Australia, India and New Zealand) are equal in strength which brings it down to the fact that the difference between winning and losing will be whose key players excel on match days."
"I think the big four have an equal chance of winning so it is a case of building some momentum going into the Super Six stage. The event has been structured in such a way that every match is a semi-final which makes it very exciting and tough, and guarantees that only the two best teams go through to the final.
"I think this is going to be the closest World Cup for a number of years" she said.
A polite and soft-spoken Edwards, who first represented England at the age of 16 against New Zealand, considers five time champions Australia as the tournament favourite and West Indies as the team capable of springing surprises.
"It is obviously nice to be spoken as favourites but I think Australia is the favourite, especially because it will be playing on home turf. I also think the West Indies will be the surprise package of the World Cup. We played them in the summer and I was really impressed with them, especially their bowling and fielding.
"All the teams will be there to win and we will be no different. We will have to concentrate, stay focused and try to control only what we can control.
"We have got a good mix of youth and experience as have New Zealand and Australia".
Picture by Anthony Roberts of ARPICS