There is no doubt in our mind as to who should have been Player of the Series in this Women’s Ashes instead of Heather Knight. Not that Knight had a BAD series, of course – she scored four fifties, and played two particularly crucial innings – batting out for the draw in the Test and backing up centurion Danni Wyatt in the remarkable last T20.
But for us, the outstanding performer over the series was Aussie quick Megan Schutt, with 18 wickets – a full third of the “bowling” wickets taken by Australia across the 7 games – in conditions where England’s celebrated pace duopoly of Shrubsole and Brunt could muster just 10 wickets between them.
England’s leading bowler was Sophie Ecclestone, with 9 wickets at an Economy Rate of 4.35. Jenny Gunn took more wickets (11) but was the most expensive front-line bowler on either side over the course of the series – going for 6.37 an over.
Ellyse Perry underlined her status as the world’s leading all-rounder, coming in 3rd in the bowling rankings in addition to her 4th-place in the batting rankings.
The only other player to make both “Top 10s” is Katherine Brunt, who is looking like an increasingly key player in England’s line-up. It is difficult to see Brunt carrying on to the next World Cup, when she’ll be 36, but maybe it is possible if England can manage her more as a batting than a bowling all-rounder going forwards, hints of which emerged when she came on 1st change in the 2nd and 3rd T20s. (She opened in the 1st, but presumably only because Anya Shrubsole wasn’t playing.)
|1. Megan Schutt||7||18||3.6|
|2. Jess Jonassen||7||10||3.2|
|3. Ellyse Perry||7||10||3.9|
|4. Sophie Ecclestone||6||9||4.4|
|5. Jenny Gunn||6||11||6.4|
|6. Katherine Brunt||7||7||4.5|
|7. Tahlia McGrath||4||4||2.9|
|8. Alex Hartley||4||7||5.3|
|9. Laura Marsh||2||3||2.8|
|10. Amanda Wellington||6||3||3.4|
Bowling Ranking = Wickets / Economy