ECB-ology, like its etymological forefather Kremlinology, is an inexact science. Nevertheless, it seems clear from reading between the lines of today’s Academy squad announcements for next week’s games against Australia, that England have all-but pencilled-in a team for the Women’s Ashes Test, which begins on Tuesday-week.
In (possible!) batting order:
Edwards, Knight, Taylor, Sciver and Shrubsole will all be picked unless they are clinically dead… and even then the selectors would probably have a long, hard think! Brunt is also a certainty as long as they think she’ll make it through without injury, and she is looking pretty fit right now, so she is nailed-on too.
Greenway isn’t quite on that list any more, but she had a 50 and a 40 in the ODIs, so she will play as well.
That leaves just 4 question-marks – Winfield, Cross, Gunn and Grundy.
Neither Winfield nor Grundy are in the Academy squads, so unless one of them has “looked funny” at Paul Shaw, they are both “in”, or they would have been given the opportunity to prove themselves against the Southern Stars in those games next week.
Cross was “dropped” for the 3rd ODI, but England were pretty clear that this was more of a positive swap than a negative one, and she is seen as a bit of a red-ball specialist. Indeed she is the only England bowler to have played a significant amount of red-ball cricket this season, having been playing The Other Game in the Lancashire League; so I’m pretty sure she will play.
Finally… Jenny Gunn? The Gunnster is obviously entering the twilight of her career; but she did a job with the ball when she came back into the ODI team that only Jenny Gunn can do; and I just can’t see Charlotte Edwards wanting to go into the Test without her longest-serving and most trusted lieutenant – someone who can bowl a lot of overs with good economy, and was England’s highest run-scorer in last summer’s Test against India.
So there it is! Am I right? We’ll find out next week apparently, but in the meantime have your say below!