A few brief thoughts on England’s Test squad:
Wilson has been rewarded for a solid season with the bat, both for the Academy and for Middlesex. It is a big step up from Division 2 to Division 1 – as Lancashire are proving, having cruised Division 2 last season and completely tanked in Division 1 with basically exactly the same team. In making that step, Wilson has shown the one thing England really need right now: temperament! If she plays (and that is still a big “if”) it will be for that.
Jones has been very unlucky. Again. (And how many times have we said that?) Her unbeaten century for the Academy, against exactly the same bowlers England will face in the Test, bowling their hearts out because their team isn’t inked-in yet, shows that she has the technique; but yet it all seems to fall apart when she steps into the arena of full international cricket. Why? It can only be a mind thing; and being in and out of the team like a yo-yo, never quite sure of her place, really really can’t be helping!
England have missed a trick in not considering Hartley – the best (available) attacking spinner we have at the moment – in a series-situation where (I think… others disagree) that they need to attack. I have an inkling that this is partly because she is perceived as a bit of a “Genuine No. 11” but honestly… if England are selecting their No. 11 partly for her batting, then God help them!
It does also seem that England’s management find it very hard to accept that players can change. Two years ago, Hartley was apparently going nowhere… so as far as England are concerned, she’s still going nowhere! But people do change – they grow up between 19 and 21 – and Hartley is a different player now to the one they (rightly) didn’t rate when they were first discussing who would (and would not) get a contract. England seem to be doing themselves a disservice by not recognising that.