As England fly home from their tour to South Africa, new coach Mark Robinson undoubtedly has some issues to reflect upon; but he also has some reasons to be cheerful:
1. They Took Home The Silverware
England might have lost a couple of matches they would have hoped to have won – particularly the ODI, when the loss also meant dropping points to a rival in the race for automatic World Cup qualification. But even Australia lose the odd match here and there (the Southern Stars have dropped points to both India and New Zealand so far this year) and at the end of the day, England recovered to bring home the silverware in both the ODI and T20 series.
2. They Have Taylor and Shrubsole
As if we needed reminding, England have in Taylor and Shrubsole two world-beaters who could carry them to WWT20 glory in India. Despite a couple of blips in ODIs 2 and 3, Taylor topped the batting numbers with 278 runs at an average of 56 and a Strike Rate of 125; whilst Shrubsole looks to be back in the sort of form that made her Player of the Tournament at the last WWT20 – taking 15 wickets at an average of 16.5*.
3. They Have a Coach Who Is Doing The Right Things
Mark Robinson’s reign might not have gotten off to the perfect start, but he has done a lot of things right on this tour. Despite what you might think, I firmly believe that one of them was not dropping Tammy Beaumont for the final T20, despite her failures in the first two matches; and in the final game she proved something – to him, to me… and possibly even to herself – by carrying England home when things were actually starting to look just a little shaky for a moment! Similarly the faith shown in Amy Jones and Danni Wyatt will also hopefully start to pay dividends, as Mark starts to make his… er… MARK!!
* Stats include the warm-up matches.