OPINION: England’s Test Team Pencilled-In

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:

  1. Knight
  2. Winfield
  3. Taylor
  4. Edwards
  5. Greenway
  6. Sciver
  7. Brunt
  8. Shrubsole
  9. Gunn
  10. Cross
  11. Grundy

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!

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4 thoughts on “OPINION: England’s Test Team Pencilled-In

  1. It would be nice (but also a minor miracle) to see one of the EWA young guns selected for posting a big score or taking a 5fer against Australia.

    In other words I think you’ve nailed down all XI positions.

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  2. I think that your team selection will be very accurate – it’s difficult to see how it could be much different.

    It’s a bit disappointing that there isn’t more opportunity for some of the EWA players to break through into the first team. With the ODI showings, you’d think they’d want to change things around a bit more. It seems that players like Beaumont, Wyatt, Jones, Elwiss and Marsh are being let down by the system.

    Looking at the probable squad for this upcoming test, and comparing it to the Test side that lost to India at Wormsley last year, there are 9 (yes 9) of the same players and only 2 changes:

    * Tammy Beaumont replaced by Kathryn Brunt
    * Sonia Odedra replaced by Rebecca Grundy

    So 2 conclusions to draw from those changes:

    *The (probable) new Test squad has more bowlers, and greater wicket-taking potential

    * The (probable) new Test squad only contains 4 specialist bats and it has 3 all-rounders and 4 bowlers (admittedly Brunt is pretty good with the bat when counted as a bowler)

    This would be a brave selection when you think about it. The squad has a long tail with Shrubsole or Gunn at no 8. And when you think that the batting performances against India were hardly stellar, with one more specialist bat included in that team, it’s a bit of a risk against an Australian attack which is more dangerous than India’s was.

    However I think bravery may be required. We need to win the Test, to do that we need to take 20 wickets and the more bowlers the better. To me this squad will either challenge Australia very closely, if the batters perform, or fall someway short with their batting scores and be in danger of a heavy loss. But it’s probably worth the risk for a greater chance of winning.

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  3. Cant see what Gunn offers. Cant really see why Grundy is in at the expense of Danni Hazell. England look out of form and there’s too many old mates still getting a call up. Time to get some Academy players in.

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  4. Met Paul Shaw at an ECB conference a few years ago he even shared with me a copy of the Pathway performance player assessment but if we have not unearthed the next Lanning or Perry has the system that I surmise is more of an indicator than county performances failed in its objectives or is the best to come?

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