After a thoroughly convincing win in the T20 Tri-Series Final at Chelmsford, are England now favourites going into the World T20 in the Caribbean this autumn?
Heather Knight was typically reluctant to get over-excited:
“I don’t think we’ll be favourites – it is hard to look past Australia – but I think we’ll be up there.”
Nevertheless, having won the T20 rubber of the Women’s Ashes, and now this Tri-Series against New Zealand and South Africa, there will be no better-placed team going into the tournament.
England’s batting has obviously enjoyed a remarkable renaissance – it says much about the way the team are playing that it feels like Dani Wyatt had a quiet series… yet she still scored two 50s at a Strike Rate of 138.
But in a way, in a Batsman’s Series like this, where the world record total has been broken not once but twice, what you actually need is your bowlers to turn up, and England’s definitely did, especially today.
“The bowling has been the highlight for me,” Knight told us. “The bowlers have been very consistent. It was a very good wicket today, but the way we’ve executed our plans on different types of pitches has been really good.”
This is why Sophie Ecclestone, not leading run-scorer Tammy Beaumont, was our Player of the Series – to take 10 wickets at an Economy Rate of a shade over 7 is a splendid return; but more impressive was the way she took her wickets. Like everyone, she was knocked around at times, but she responded by keeping her head and just sticking to her game-plan.
“You obviously get hit in T20,” she said today, “but it is all part of the game – you get your rewards if you just bowl straight, keeping the stumps in play.”
Heather Knight was also full of praise for the left-armer:
“She’s matured a lot in the last year – she’s become a lot more savvy with how she goes about her bowling – she’s very tall so she gets some extra bounce and attacks both edges of the bat.”
With Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole also back on the absolute pinnacle of their games this is what England will need in the West Indies, where there will perhaps be less batting-friendly pitches. England really did hardly bowl a bad ball today, and they backed it up with some tight work in the field – if they can do that in November, we could well be looking at double-World Champions.
I wouldn’t get too excited:
1. there’s always Australia;
2. It’s T20, and that means, invariably, that two deliveries can change the game,
3. England got beaten by India in the ODI series in India. Yes, they’re different formats, but it’s still telling that we have some vulnerabilities.
The West Indies will definitely have different pitches (ones that, I claim, will suit Wyatt more) and our spinners will have to work hard there because our seamers will be more exposed to any batter who’s gauged the speed.
But we’re in with a shout. A good shout.
If I were a betting man, and the odds offered were good, I’d put money on England.
I agree on all points – and also Wyatt does tend to do well overseas. Better than in England, in fact.
Australia are still favourites IMO but England aren’t far off, and are closer than I thought they were before this series.
The main concern is England haven’t batted that well on slower surfaces. On recent evidence though, their spinners will thrive.
No England player has ever made a T20I fifty in the West Indies. I’ve no doubt that record will change by the end of the World T20 (probably by the end of England’s first match TBH).
IMO the semi-finalist will be AUS, ENG, WI & whoever wins on the opening day between IND & NZ.
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“IMO the semi-finalist will be AUS, ENG, WI & whoever wins on the opening day between IND & NZ.”
I’m glad that Raf and Syd will be there to report back to us. As also, I believe, will Women’s Cricket Blog.
The media in India may not give me the games love but I’ll at least have the next best thing.
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Great performance from England today, again, I’ve been really impressed with how they’ve polished up their all-round game and the fielding, catching, bowling and batting have all come together over the last couple of games. If England can take a couple of wins from the ODI series it will have been a successful summer, against two tough opponents.
Steady on now Syd! I wouldn’t say England were favourites but there’s a great chance we can go a long way in it. Australia will be up there, as always, and you can’t rule out the Windies themselves on home turf and with some big-hitters in their line-up. New Zealand will probably cruise past the weaker sides but may come unstuck under pressure, as we’ve seen recently. I also think India will do well, they have quality and experience. And South Africa have shown they are well capable of beating England sometimes.
England have in their favour a large number of players who could potentially score valuable runs, probably more than most other teams. And we have an uncanny ability to be able to battle it out when the going gets tough, in tight games, with some bowlers able to turn in great figures at important moments.
What may count against England is their real lack of powerful big-hitting batsmen. Having a range of good players is great on true pitches in England, but a bit less useful on slow wickets abroad when it’s more likely to be down to a big innings or two from individual players. Totals by committee, that are winning scores, are likely to be less common I think. It’s harder to get in, and once a players does get in they must make the most of their innings and not give it away thinking that another player will just be able to carry on where they left off. England have learned to rely on each other, of late, which is great for team morale, but may not produce totals as high as players like Healy, Gardner, Dottin, Harmanpreet, Lee or Devine might be able to. In this regard, other sides with bigger hitters may have an advantage, and all the other top 5 sides have more big hitters than England do.
Brilliant display from the ladies today. The introduction of George and Ecclestone has been so exciting and refreshing to see.
Australia will be favourites but no one should underestimate this England team who are proving to be very adaptable.
Let’s remember England took a young team out to India with one eye on the future so I think we can disregard those results really.
Would agree that Australia are the favourites, especially with Lanning coming back and presumably fully fit but England aren’t too far behind. T20 is a bit of a lottery anyway and say a big hitter like Lee, Devine or Mandhana get on a roll, there could well be a number of upsets.
I expected more from New Zealand, perhaps I was overrating them based on their performances against Ireland and South Africa but they’ve not bowled well and their fielding has been awful. Batting wise, they rely far too much on Bates and Devine, the middle order really needs to step up.
That being said, I’m far more confident about our chances in November. All the batters contributed (apart from Amy Jones but that’s hardly her fault, I hope she gets a good run in the KSL) as did all the bowlers.Shrubsole looks back to her best and Ecclestone looks a real threat and slower pitches in the West Indies will aid her even more.