Monday, 4 August 2014

England's Test Squad named - but who will play at Wormsley?

England have picked a Test squad of 14 (see details here), from which they will have to name their 12 on the morning of the Test (13th August). I think their line-up (in batting order) for the Test will be as follows :-


12th Man - Jones

I cannot see England going into a four day Test at Wormsley, which is a slow low good batting track, without two spinners and there are only two in the squad - Dani Hazell and Becky Grundy. Anya Shrubsole and Kate Cross will open the bowling and England will just be hoping that Shrubsole can stay fit. Last year, against the Aussies, she bowled 27 overs in the first innings and 20 in the second. That is a huge workload given that the girls never bowl more than 10 overs in any other game they play. It is even bigger when you have only got 10 overs under your belt in competitive cricket this domestic season. Shrubsole was the bowler of the tournament in the recent T20 World Cup and England will hope she can return in the same great form.

As back-up seamers England have Jenny Gunn and Nat Sciver. Both may need to bowl plenty of overs if Mithali Raj and co get in on the Wormsley track.

As for the batting line-up I think Edwards may drop herself down the order as she did last year to try and shore up a sometimes rocky middle-order. This would open the way for Tammy Beaumont to open with the new vice-captain Heather Knight. Beaumont has had a great domestic season opening for Kent, but can she convert that into runs for England? In 35 innings for England her highest score is just 44. Most, if not all, of these knocks have been in the England middle-order. I don't think she has ever opened for England*. This could be her opportunity and it may be the making of her. (*She has - once in T20 and seven times in ODIs)

Personally I would like to see Nat Sciver pushed up the order and told to concentrate on her batting, rather than being played as an all-rounder. She is a sweet striker of a ball, and in the shorter format of the game England need to use her wisely. But for the odd Test then six is probably not a bad slot. That leaves Lydia Greenway and Jenny Gunn as frontline batsmen. Both are hugely experienced, but the pressure will be on them both to perform in this series. Gunn has had a decent season with the bat for Notts, but Greenway has struggled for Kent and will be anxious to get some runs under her belt sooner rather than later in this series.

Fingers crossed for four great days of Test Cricket at Wormsley. Aside from the cricket, the ECB Cricket Factory will be at Wormsley for the first two days (13th / 14th August) offering a plethora of fun activities for children.

Tickets per day cost £12 in advance for adults and £15 on the gate. OAP's will pay £6.00 in advance and £7.50 on the gate and under 16's are just £1.00. Ticket are available through the Ticket Factory website or call 0844 338 0338. Gates open at 9.30am with play due to start at 11.00am. Scheduled close of play is 6.00pm.



  1. So this boils down to 12 core players plus the Brunt/Odedra and Cross/Farrant swaps.

    We knew Knight was being groomed as the Lottie successor - and this proves it. It doesn't represent any question mark over Gunn's leadership abilities I'm sure, rather the brutal truth that 'age waiteth for no man' and Knight is considerably younger than Gunn and will the right side of 30 when Lottie eventually steps down.

    Big loser - Wyatt. Not injured, only makes the EWA squad. Clearly out of favour despite a very good summer for Notts (eg belting 41 off 19 balls yesterday when it really mattered). Good form for one's county seems to guarantee some players a selection yet not others. It also seems to me that the selectors do not apply the threshold equally when it comes to dropping players. Given performances in the World Cup T20 this year it makes one wonder just how badly certain players (one in particular stands out from both the WC and previous years) are allowed to perform yet still keep their place. I’m not talking about temporary loss of form here (all top players suffer this during a career) – I’m talking about rarely making a significant contribution in an England match. Seems rather at odds with Heather Knight’s statement that “Now we're professional there comes added responsibility and accountability if we don't perform well”. Heather is correct but this squad selection doesn’t seem to adhere to it in all cases.

    Presumably Marsh is still considered to be on her way back from injury - hence her presence in the EWA. Of course, it may well be that Grundy has acquitted herself so well in her first international season that she and Hazell are simply considered to be the best two spinners at the moment. The left / right combination is also a good for variety.

    We learnt from T20 World Cup that we have a serious issue with batting in this form of the game. Since we are proposing to play the same batsmen in the T20 this summer it follows that either (a) its the coaches fault not the players (b) the issuing of a contract will make them better T20 batsman or (c) we simply don't have the talent in this form of the game coming through. It looks like the selectors believe those that played in the T20 World Cup are the T20 batsman to play in the Ashes next summer (evidence being that they would be played some new talent against SA if not). I'm sure we all look forward to the residents adjacent to the grounds at Chelmsford, Northampton and Edgbaston boarding up their windows as those 6s fly !

    To answer a point you raised : Beaumont has indeed batted as an opener in 7 ODIs (scores 2 ,4 , 12, 19, 27, 31 and 44) and once in T20 (scoring 2).

  2. On the point about spinners - I get the impression that the coaches see Lottie as a very good back-up spin option - this seemed to be being pushed in Australia. I can see them playing one spinner in the Test on that basis - which might mean Odedra gets the nod ahead of Grundy. Which might also then allow for Sciver to concentrate more on her batting, as you suggest?

  3. I don't think Grundy will play. She is in as cover for Hazell because there is no one else; but she isn't fully fit either (recurring theme?) - she has been injured, and has bowled less than 30 overs for Warwickshire this season, taking a grand total of 4 wickets. I think England would risk someone who is unfit... and they would risk someone who is untested... but they won't risk someone who is unfit AND untested!