Tomorrow (Friday) England will play the Aussies in the second of the three ODIs in the Ashes Series. After Lords they find themselves 4-2 down, with a potential 10 more points to play for.
England will be bitterly disappointed with the Lord's loss. They had done well to restrict a tentative Australia to just 203/8 in their 50 overs, with Katherine Brunt (3/29) and Laura Marsh (2/27) the pick of the bowlers. It was with the bat again that England struggled with the exception of skipper Charlotte Edwards (61). Arran Brindle was becalmed at the crease; Sarah Taylor scored another nice twenty-something; Lydia Greenway looked a little lost; Heather Knight probably should have opened; and Tammy Beaumont has only scored 183 runs in 18 ODIs with a top score of 44.
To make matters worse Ellyse Perry was having an off-day and it was the loopy spin of Erin Osborne (3/39) and Jess Jonassen (4/38) which accounted for England, together with two unnecessary run-outs. Jonassen's selection had been somewhat of a surprise, but it seems the Aussies had done their homework and that pace off the ball was what was needed. Perry and Holly Ferling only bowled 10 overs between them.
So what can we expect at Hove tomorrow? It is generally a good batting wicket and the outfield will be quick, despite the rain that we have had in the last 24 hours. I doubt the Aussies will change a winning side, which gives England a chance. They did not look unbeatable by any stretch of the imagination. As for England I hope they promote Heather Knight to open, or bring in Lauren Winfield and tell her to bat in her normal positive style. The England batsmen seem to lack confidence in their own ability at the moment and there is little that can be done about that, apart from getting out in the middle and scoring runs - that is easier said than done. Someone other than Charlotte Edwards needs to get in and bat at a decent tempo. England have the skills, but 90% of cricket is played in the mind. I hope they adopt a positive rather than a cautious approach. It will be a long way back for England if they go 6-2 down in the series.