Women’s Ashes – Playing Jones In The Test Could EVEn Things Up

The fallout from England’s ODI Ashes whitewash is still ongoing – there are 30 comments (and counting!) below the line in our postmortem on the 3rd ODI – but England need to put the ODI series behind them and start to think about the Test.

The Ashes series is not actually lost yet – 8 points is the “magic number” for Australia to retain the trophy, and they only have 6 right now; but obviously the odds are stacked against England – they need to win the Test and all 3 T20s.

Being optimistic, England have a team that could win all 3 T20s – they won the T20 series in 2017, and they hold the World Record for the highest score in T20s between the top teams, having made 250-3 against South Africa at Taunton last summer. T20 is probably England’s best format at the moment, with batsmen like Danni Wyatt (one of only two women ever to have scored two international T20 centuries) and Tammy Beaumont ideally suited to the swashbuckling brand of cricket England like to play in the short game.

But the problem is that players – or more particularly, batsmen – ideally suited to T20 are almost by definition not suited to playing Test cricket, where you have to graft for your runs and build a score over hours not minutes. Perhaps more than anything in Test cricket, you have to put a high price on your wicket – something this current England team seem too-often incapable of doing.

So where can we turn?

The Women’s County Championship is not held in high esteem by England’s management, which is why they want to abolish it; but if County Championship cricket teaches you one thing, it is to put value on your wicket and grind-out an innings, and one of the more successful county batsmen over the past few years has been Eve Jones, first of Staffordshire and now of Lancashire.

There are other options of course – Sophia Dunkley or Bryony Smith, for instance – but they are both players more of a T20 mould, who have had the power-hitting mindset instilled into them by now.

Jones, however, is from a different era – dropped from the England pathway precisely because she was too “grafty” and wasn’t ever going to hit a T20 hundred off 50 balls – in other words, just what England need for the Test! Even if you were being extremely cynical, you’d have to say she can’t go any worse than most of England’s batting lineup has thus far in this series.

Is Jones One for the Future™? Not likely – she is nearly 27 and she’s never going to have an international “career”; but England have got a Test to win now and they need to find a bit of backbone from somewhere – Jones would be a gamble… but at 6-0 down we’re in gambling territory anyway – let’s give her a roll!

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11 thoughts on “Women’s Ashes – Playing Jones In The Test Could EVEn Things Up

  1. Apart from shoring up the batting with a traditional occupier of the crease where is the All Rounder in the England ranks to turn matches on head with bat or ball?

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  2. The obvious dislike of the County Championship by the England management has been apparent for years.
    However, which ever County you select within them they have grafters who can build an innings and show responsibility and pride in doing well for their county.

    The management still pick their favourites from the Academy upwards, and rarely, if ever, really scout for talent which can be nurtured. They stick with “the chosen ones” even if they continue to perform poorly. The bowlers at times can bowl well, but at all England levels bowlers give away wide after wide after wide.
    Do the coaches ever try to correct this?
    The batters shots from Sunday were nothing short of embarrassing (excluding Sarah Taylor).
    Not much evidence of high quality coaching was evident there!

    So the “100” will cure all ills? I very much doubt it.

    Even so, let us hope the selected eleven for the Test can show a bit of guts, skill and diligence. Fight for themselves, their country and their counties! Batters occupy the crease a bit like the Laura Marsh marathon a few years ago! Bowl and field tightly…….who knows what might happen……!

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  3. Regardless of whether it’s the right way to go, or not, I can’t see England going outside the establishment cohort. To do so would undoubtedly be seen as a panic measure, and would be far more likely to fail than succeed. There’s a “can’t do any worse” justification, I suppose, but to me that’s not enough. It’s not an idea totally without merit (apart from anything else, a left-hander would ask the Australian bowlers a different question), but it’s a non-runner in reality.

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  4. It was a ridiculous short-sighted decision to ditch her in the first place. England are now realising that having a few more players able to dig in a bit is actually quite useful sometimes. Evan in T20. They have tried to stack the order with hitters which is great for high-scoring T20 contests but that can fail on slower pitches or when you don’t enable them to be able to adjust their games for the longer format.

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  5. Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway never gave their wickets away,although the current Manager with a first class batting average of 3 thought differently.

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  6. You have to have a County Championship and possible a 2ndXl one too so the net is widened to cater for all, as players mature at different ages. From what I’ve seen females mature as batters around 23 years of age. Too many younger batters are discarded far too early and drift on out of the game. Coaches if they were good enough should be looking at technique and sound defences rather than looking just at bat swingers who flatter to deceive. Players who can adapt to any given situation rather only being able to play one way. Basically as someone previously mentioned grassroots coaching needs to improve. Too many Dads involved and good intentioned people who haven’t got the experience and know how not having played high standard cricket. Anybody and I mean anybody including complete non-cricketers can achieve Level Two coaching awards. They can’t teach the mental side of the game, which is being ignored. No good having talent if you can’t perform on the day due to pressure. I’ve seen many a County cricketer with limited talent make a career due to their mental strength, you don’t have to look good to be successful i.e. David Steel, Clive Radley, Kepler Wessels, Peter Wiley, Graham Clinton every County had at least one etc.

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    • Totally agree the mental side of batting in particular is massively important when faced with a tough opposition bowling attack–some guts and backbone is required as well.

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    • Some of us got our L2 coaching award before the new system came in.

      My daughter used to get to play with county players at Club level then they restructured the league and county fixtures to conflct.

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  7. “let’s give her a roll!” – interesting terminology. Are you asking her to open the batting or prepare the pitch ? Ah, hang on maybe you are being really subtle here – “Jones would be a gamble” ….. dicey ……….. roll.

    I think we should seriously consider Georgia Adams as well – purely because we’ld then have an opening partnership of Adams and Eve – well England do have a task of biblical proportions ahead of them.

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  8. Pingback: OPINION: 5 Things England Need To Do To Win The Test | CRICKETher

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