England's squads to face India in one Test and three ODIs, and three T20s against South Africa will be announced next Monday. There are unlikely to be any major surprises, particularly with 18 girls now being centrally-contracted to the ECB in one form or another.
On current form England seem to have a wealth of batting in their main squad. Edwards, Beaumont, Wyatt, Winfield, Sciver and Gunn top the Div 1 run-scorers with Beaumont and Edwards both averaging around 100. Heather Knight has also found some form after a dismal start to the season with scores of 66* and 101 in her last two county championship games. Sarah Taylor has had a quiet time at Sussex with a top score of 48*, but Sussex did not bat first against either Essex or Warwickshire where she was not out in the second innings chasing low totals. Meanwhile Lydia Greenway has had to sit and watch Edwards and Beaumont bat long before her at Kent and as a result has a top score of just 29 this summer. She is however unlikely to miss out on selection.
Sarah Taylor and Amy Jones seem to be shoe-ins for the keeping duties. Taylor has had her injury concerns during the domestic season and it would not surprise me to see Jones keeping at some stage during either the India or the South Africa series.
Bowling is much more of an issue. On the spin front Dani Hazell has only bowled 29 overs for Yorkshire, claiming nine victims, Rebecca Grundy has only three wickets for Warwickshire from 24 overs, and Jodie Dibble is out after another shoulder operation. However Laura Marsh is back bowling for Kent and has 6 wickets from 30 overs. Danni Wyatt too seems to have recently rediscovered her bowling mojo (which she lost last season) with nine wickets in 40 overs bowled. Lurking in the wings England do also have Staffs' Steph Butler, who has bowled well for the Academy and Staffs this season.
Pace bowling looks even more of an issue, particularly as the first game is the four day Test - a genuine test of a fast bowler's fitness. Beyond Kate Cross, who has bowled 62 overs for Lancashire in Div 2 claiming 12 victims, the rest of the pace attack have hardly bowled. Katherine Brunt bowled her first five overs of the season this Sunday (0/9); Anya Shrubsole has had only one 10 over spell for Somerset (1/14) and did not bowl in Somerset's last league game of the season last weekend; Tash Farrant has not bowled in a competitive game since the end of January. Even all-rounders Nat Sciver and Jenny Gunn have had quiet seasons. Sciver has only bowled 19 overs and Gunn has only taken two wickets in 43 overs bowled for Notts. Previous back-up Beth Langston seems to be out with injury, and Georgia Elwiss has also struggled a bit after a mid-season lay-off for injury. So Notts' Sonia Odedra, who has been in the Academy for sometime, is presumably in with a shout if others are not fit or break down during the series. Youngsters Georgia Hennessy and Freya Davies may also then come into the reckoning.
All will be revealed on Monday, with probably three different squads being announced - Test Squad; India ODI squad and South Africa T20 squad. A two day England warm-up game this week could well be used to test out the fitness of one or two players before the announcement is made.
Summer 2014 International Schedule
13-16 August - England v India, Kia Women’s Test Match, Wormsley
21 August - England Women v India, Royal London ODI, Scarborough
23 August - England Women v India, Royal London ODI, Scarborough
25 August - England Women v India, Royal London ODI, Lord’s
1 September - England Women v South Africa, NatWest Women's International T20, Chelmsford
3 September - England Women v South Africa, NatWest Women's International T20, Northampton
7 September - England Women v South Africa, NatWest Women's International T20, Edgbaston