Heather Knights has called for Sophia Dunkley to build her confidence on the domestic stage after being dropped for England's series against Pakistan.

Dunkley, the opener, was not selected for the T20I or ODI squads of the series, which commenced at Edgbaston on Saturday.

England emerged from the game as the winners by 53 runs, despite a rough start.

Following some form struggles on the international stage, Dunkley missed out on her selection, and Maia Bouchier was given the opportunity, bolstered by an impressive performance over the winter.

Western Storm's star player Knight, who scored 49 to aid England's comeback from 11-4, is positive that Dunkley can regain her place in the team.

Discussing team selection at the launch of The Metro Bank Girls in Cricket Fund, Knight said: "We've decided to give Maia a little bit of a run in the side to see how she goes after how she performed in New Zealand.

"But there's a lot of people in our conversations, and things can change pretty quickly, it is certainly not nailed down as of yet."

Somerset County Gazette: Heather Knight

She encouraged Dunkley to play some consistent cricket for the Stars, after a difficult period and a lot of hard work dedicated to her game outside of matches.

Knight added: "The stuff she has done is going to come to fruition, she just needs to play some consistent cricket.

"We could have brought her on tour as a spare batter, but we want her to be playing because we know when she is back at her best, she is in and around her best XI."

In Knight's view, Dunkley's return to domestic cricket will boost her confidence before the upcoming T20 World Cup in Bangladesh this October, where England is expected to face plenty of spin.

Somerset County Gazette: Sophia Dunkley in action

To this end, she urged her team not to get ahead of themselves, saying: "We've got an eye on peaking at that tournament.

"But something we were working on at our pre-season camp was on not looking too far ahead and staying present."

She further urged her team to focus on their on-pitch duties, saying: "We cannot worry about what might happen so I’ll be encouraging the girls to focus on what we need to do on the pitch."

As part of their preparations, England would aim to build confidence through winning and putting in strong performances.

Heather Knight was speaking on behalf of Metro Bank. 

Head to metrobankonline.co.uk/cricket where you can discover more about the Metro Bank Girls In Cricket Fund, and help to champion the future of girls’ cricket