Monday, 4 November 2013

Young England defeat Windies

England duly wrapped up the ODI series with a second comprehensive victory over their West Indian hosts and will leave the Caribbean on a high. They should not, however, forget that they lost all three of their T20 games to the Windies, and that the T20 World Cup is just 5 months away.

But before that there is the small matter of the Ashes. Charlotte Edwards was desperate to win them in England and she will be even more fired up to retain them on Aussie soil. Once again the format will be one Test; three ODIs and and three T20s with 6 points again for the Test (being played at the WACA) and 2 points for each of the other games. Given the England men's recent game at the WACA you would have to say that a drawn Test looks extremely likely. Both teams have girls that can bat long and once in at the WACA you have to find ways to get yourself out. The series would then of course come down to the short format stuff.

The one really key point that has come out of the Windies tour is the fragility of the England batting. Only Sarah Taylor made over 50 in any of the seven completed games (55* and 100 in the two ODIs). But even she had a lean spell in the T20s and skipper Charlotte Edwards never quite found her touch in either format. Newcomers Nat Sciver and Lauren Winfield will have learnt more from the tour and have scope to improve, but the experienced Danni Wyatt, Tammy Beaumont, Lydia Greenway and Jenny Gunn failed to make an impact with the bat. That will be a concern. England will hope to add Heather Knight and Laura Marsh to their batting line-up for the Ashes trip, but they will both have been without outdoor cricket for four months, if fit. England will also hope that Sarah's sublime form which saw her score a magnificent century in the last ODI continues, but it only takes one good ball or one bad shot.

On the bowling front fast bowlers Kate Cross and Tash Farrant have shown they have the temperament for cricket at the top level. Farrant got some good shape on the ball and Cross good bounce and carry. Neither have the firepower of Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole, who England again will hope to be fit to face the Aussies. Holly Colvin's return to form will be much welcomed. Her slow loopy left-arm spin is a key weapon in the 50 over game, perhaps less so in the 20 over format. Fellow spinner Dani Hazell only claimed four wickets in 28 overs of bowling, and Danni Wyatt only bowled three overs in the six games she played. Jenny Gunn surprisingly was the leading wicket-taker with 13 wickets, including five in one game. It is difficult to see her as much more than a stock bowler though. Nat Sciver picked up 10 wickets including a hat-trick, but she has a tendency to be a tad expensive. When it comes to Ashes selection you need to throw all-rounders Arran Brindle and Georgia Elwiss into the bowling mix too.

If all the girls are fit and available then it is going to be a bit of a scramble to get onto the plane to Perth in early January. Paul Shaw and his team will have some difficult decisions to make.

No sooner will they be back from Australia than they will be thinking about the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. They play their first game on 24 March against the Windies. Also in England's group are India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Beaten in the final by Australia in 2012 England will be out for revenge, but they will have to improve on their T20 showing in the Caribbean.



  1. England proved over these last couple of weeks that they have the strength in depth and the experience to ground out results, even when they're not at their best. The England team that played in the West Indies wasn't the strongest outfit that England can put together, especially with Lottie being out injured. When you bring in the quality and experience of Katherine Brunt, Anya Shrubsole, Laura Marsh and Heather Knight, I feel that England will be a great force to reckoned with in Australia. However, after the lesser experienced players have had their chances to shine within the England set up, these experienced campaigners will have to battle for their places. Kate Cross is a prime example of this, she showed her skill with the ball and getting an MOM award. Also, Nat Sciver has proved to be an influential player within the squad, making valuable runs and also being a handful with the ball.

  2. Ashes 14 player squad: Assuming no injuries or other absentees and a single squad: Is it not extremely likely that Shaw will pick Edwards, Knight, Taylor, Greenway, Sciver, Brindle, Gunn, Marsh, Colvin, Shrubsole and Brunt (based on his selection history and/or form). This doesn’t leave much room on the plane. One batsmen (Winfield, Beaumont or Jones), one spinner (Hazell or Wyatt), one quickie (Elwiss, Farrant, Cross or Langston) maybe ? Who'ld be a selector ?
    Leshia 'Hawkeye' must go to keep us informed !

  3. I think the "extremely likely" people are right apart from maybe Laura Marsh, only because she has been out with her shoulder problems.,. I think Danni Wyatt will take that place, being a very capable bat and a more than useful bowler... After that, I think Tammy Beaumont will take the "batsmen" role, she is an awesome fielder and very capable of making big runs at international level... I feel the last "quickie" section is wrong, I personally don't think any of those will be in the squad, Danni Hazell has proved she has great composure in big situations and has been a consistent economy bowler. My personal opinion is that Nat Sciver will be the other "quickie" and be the 5th/6th bowler