Jonassen was named Man of the Match for her knocks of 99 and 54, ahead of Ellyse Perry’s 6-for; and although Perry’s name will be “On The Board” and Jonassen’s won’t, having tantalisingly missed-out on her hundred, it was still the right call because Jonassen really was the difference between the two teams – her innings totalling 153 were 95% of the margin of Australia’s 161-run victory.
Shockers All Round
From an England perspective, there were shockers all round today. In the right conditions earlier in the Test, Brunt and Shrubsole had looked super-human; but this morning with a little bit of sunshine creeping through, they suddenly seemed toothless and England quickly went on the defensive – first moving the field back and then turning full-on negative – calling on the spinners, even though Australia were hardly scoring at a rate faster than at any other point in the match.
When it came to the time to bat and Heather Knight hit the first ball for four, England fans might have allowed themselves a moment of belief; but the overly defensive mindset soon came roaring back in the period before lunch. And actually this could have been fine if (like Alex Blackwell) they had scored at 2/ over and kept their wickets intact; but they didn’t, and ultimately there was probably never going to be a way back after going into lunch 2-down.
Ultimately, no one exactly covered themselves in glory. Knight, Taylor, Edwards and Winfield all failed to deliver. Georgia Elwiss made a very pretty 46 – but unfortunately it was still only 46 – nothing like enough to save the game for England.
England’s Batting Order
You have to ask again about the batting order! Not batting Edwards “up top” means you are more likely to lose an early wicket, which brings in Taylor far too early in the innings, and none-down has become two-down in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea.
I do understand the logic of batting Edwards in a position where she feels more comfortable… but if it just leads to everyone else being more uncomfortable, that probably isn’t a win overall; and so it has proved, twice in the space of 4 days.
Australia Weren’t That Good
Australia will obviously be getting all the plaudits in the mainstream press, but… whisper it… the most depressing thing is that throughout this match, they weren’t actually very good either.
The superstars Lanning and Perry both failed twice with the bat; Perry got 9 wickets in the match, but she wasn’t able to generate much pace with the ball and England largely got themselves out to her. (Overall Schutt bowled better, albeit with less reward.) And ultimately, no Southern Star made more than England’s top scorer (Elwiss, with her 46) except Jonassen, which just emphasises that she really was the difference.
England Aren’t That Bad
If Australia weren’t that good, that can only mean one thing: England were really, really bad, especially with the bat.
And yet they are not a bad team. They can bowl, as we’ve seen; and they can bat, which we haven’t seen here, but we have seen all season, away from the spotlight at county and for the Academy.
Perhaps it is the pressure of that television spotlight that is the key to understanding England’s performance? To mangle a line from Joey in Friends:
England aren’t a bad team… they just seem to play like one on television!