Ask any member of the England camp about the 2017 Women’s Ashes and they’ll say the same thing – England tied that series.
Talk to Mark Robinson… to Heather Knight… to Danni Wyatt… they’ll all remind you that after the drawn Test at North Sydney Oval, England came back to win the T20s and draw the multi-format series level on points, 8-all.
Yes, Australia retained The Ashes they’ll admit, but only on a technicality – they didn’t really “win” the trophy… and so England didn’t really “lose” it either.
Eighteen months later, as the penultimate day of the 2019 Ashes Test drew to a close, with England finding themselves 6-0 down in the series and in a bit of a “situation” in Taunton, their run rate slumped to less than 1 an over.
The question on everyone’s minds – from the commentary boxes to the stands – was why? Surely to reclaim The Ashes, England needed to go for the win? Smash 600 and bowl ’em out in the final session?
And it’s true – to reclaim the trophy, they did need to go for the win; which by the time they left the field at around ten-to-seven in the evening, they most patently were not doing, with Anya Shrubsole reprising her role as Blocker in Chief from Canterbury 2015.
But… and here’s the important bit… although they can’t “win” the Ashes now, England can still stop Australia from “winning” them.
If England can salvage a draw the Test, and then win all 3 T20s, then the series will be level, as it was in 2017 – Australia won’t have “won” the Ashes, and England won’t have “lost” them either – Australia would merely have “retained” them on a technicality.
Of course, this probably won’t cut much ice with the fans – or the Aussies for that matter – but if England appear to be happy to grind out a draw tomorrow… it might just explain why!
It might seem strange but I was actually not too disappointed with England’s performance today. Probably their best day of the series so far, although that’s not saying much. It could definitely have been worse.
It was a slightly more breezy morning in terms of run rate and wickets, by the end of the first Innings. But things could have gone very badly for England after Beaumont’s duck. They actually dug in and survived for a good while though. Jones and Sciver played very well. The initial response was good in terms of run rate too until Jones got out trying to up the rate further. I think the approach after that was pretty inevitable, but the pitch hasn’t changed too much yet.
The win was out of England’s grasp after a rain-delayed day 2, if not after a first day of only 3 wickets. Is it too much to hope for that England can avoid the follow-on, and actually get off the mark on the series scoreboard? Or can the Aussies get the 14 wickets needed in one day? It could be interesting tomorrow.
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Meg Lanning gave me her player issue cap and I’m happy with that lol. Prepare for the follow on.
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I think Syd you have described the glass-half full argument. The glass-half empty argument runs as follows ……… England are a bit worried about the T20 series going the same way as the ODI series and drawing the Test removes the threat of a total wipe out.
Funnily enough, despite the loss at the WWT20 in the Windies, I think T20 is still the format in which England will feel the most confident (least inferior?) against Australia.