The women’s Ashes starts in just a few days time – but how have the England squad been shaping up this season for their counties? Here at CRICKETher we’ve created a handy Form Guide, based on performances in the county championship this season, to tell you everything you need to know.
Charlotte Edwards (Kent): Runs: 220; Average: 55.00; Wickets: 1 at 50.00
Has been (unsurprisingly) prolific with the bat, and with a highest score of 88* against Yorkshire is currently the leading run-scorer in division 1 of the championship. Her running between the wickets has also looked particularly solid, which is a positive for England as it suggests that her knees will hold up well during the forthcoming series.
Heather Knight (Berkshire): Runs: 311; Average: 44.43; Wickets: 3 at 57.00
Has played county cricket more recently than any other England player due to Berkshire’s rearranged fixture against Middlesex last weekend, in which she made 28. Hasn’t performed spectacularly with the bat, aside from one score of 65 against Surrey back in May, but has opened the bowling several times and still seems to have the ability to beguile county players with her new-found talent for spin – suggesting we might well see Edwards utilising her against the Aussies.
Katherine Brunt (Yorkshire): Wickets: 6 at 9.83; BBI: 3-23
The amount that Brunt is allowed to bowl is still being carefully controlled – she hasn’t got through her full allocation of 10 overs in any game yet this season – which suggests that England might not want to risk her in the Test. However, her economy rate (2.64) has been exceptionally good, and her 3-23 in Yorkshire’s recent win against Middlesex (who had previously been unbeaten this season and were looking like challengers for the title) showed she is getting back to her best.
Kate Cross (Lancashire): Wickets: 3 at 30.00; BBI: 2-15
Having been promoted at the end of last season, Lancashire have struggled hugely to compete in division 1 – they haven’t won a single game this season – and Cross’s poor showing reflects that. She’s had to bear the brunt of the batting for her side, and has often had very low totals to bowl at to boot. Whether this will affect her England chances remains to be seen.
Georgia Elwiss (Sussex): Runs: 57; Average: 19.00; Wickets: 3 at 26.33; BBI: 2-43
Were the England selectors basing their choices on county performances alone – something which we at CRICKETher find rather doubtful! – it’s unlikely that Elwiss would have made it into the squad. Opening the batting for Sussex this season, her highest score has been 27, and even that looked scratchy. Her bowling has also been expensive and yielded little in the way of wickets. However, her recent showings for the Academy might still save her when it comes to selection for the ODIs.
Lydia Greenway (Kent): Runs: 106; Average: 35.33
With scores of 13*, 8, 23*, 57 and 5, it’s been a mixed season for Greenway. Nonetheless, her 57 against Nottinghamshire – made when her team most needed it, coming in at 3 after both Edwards and Tammy Beaumont had been dismissed cheaply – showed her quality. Her fielding is also still far and away the best in the championship.
Becky Grundy (Warwickshire): Wickets: 6 at 21.33; BBI: 2-24
2-24 against Surrey is Grundy’s best performance to date, which helped take her team to victory. However, she’ll be disappointed both with her lack of wickets and the fact that her bowling (usually so tight) has been relatively expensive.
Jenny Gunn (Nottinghamshire): Runs: 125; Average: 31.25; Wickets: 8 at 15.12; BBI: 2-18
Has bowled a lot of overs for Notts and done so in her usual economical fashion (her economy rate to date is 2.95). Has also looked every inch the all-rounder, top-scoring for Notts twice in 5 matches, including 52* against Berkshire as the rest of her team collapsed around her.
Amy Jones (Warwickshire): Runs: 35; Average: 11.66
As the stats suggest, it’s been a bit of a poor season for Jones, whose highest score is only 19. It makes her chances of playing in the ODIs look remote, barring an injury to Sarah Taylor.
Laura Marsh (Kent): Runs: 63; Average: 31.50; Wickets: 9 at 8.22; BBI: 5-15
Marsh’s 58 and 5-15 against Notts at Canterbury back in May well illustrate the reasons for her inclusion in the England squad: a bowler who can also be trusted with the bat. 5-15 also happens to be the second-best bowling performance in the top division of the championship this season (the best, though, was the non-selected Dani Hazell’s 6-28 against Berkshire…ahem).
Natalie Sciver (Surrey): Runs: 111; Average: 22.20; Wickets: 17 at 19.28; BBI: 5-27
Has had a mixed season with the bat – with two golden ducks (against Warwickshire and Berkshire), but a top score of 67 against Sussex back at the start of May. Her bowling has been better – though it’s questionable whether her performance with the ball actually matters to the selectors, given that England seem to now see her as a batsman who bowls, rather than a true all-rounder.
Anya Shrubsole (Somerset): Wickets: 9 at 6.33; BBI: 4-18
As the only player in the squad currently playing in division 2, we perhaps need to look upon Shrubsole’s bowling figures with caution. Nonetheless, you can only bowl at the batsmen in front of you, and you can’t ask for much more than figures of 2-9, 3-30 and 4-18, at an economy rate of 2.28.
Sarah Taylor (Sussex): Runs: 216; Average: 54.00
With 216 runs at a strike rate of 99.53, this season has gone exactly as we would have expected for the supremely talented Sarah Taylor. Watching her bat at Billingshurst against Notts (she made 39, and Sussex won by 5 wickets) was an absolute delight.
Lauren Winfield (Yorkshire): Runs: 205; Average: 205.00
Yorkshire’s brilliant (and somewhat unexpected) recent performances in division 1 of the county championship – with mammoth victories against Middlesex (by 9 wickets), Berkshire (also by 9 wickets) and Warwickshire (by 86 runs) – have been largely a result of their explosive captain. Her average is simply ridiculous, particularly for an opening batsman. She may be disappointed to have finished on 99* against Middlesex in her most recent championship innings – but she’s unlikely to be so when the team sheet is announced for the first ODI next week.