Sophie Ecclestone and Nat Sciver-Brunt return to England Squad for their India Tour

After an eventful home season, marked by England staging a remarkable comeback to level the Women’s Ashes series 8-all, overcoming an initial 0-6 deficit, and an eye-opening series against Sri Lanka, the spin-struggling English women’s team is gearing up for their upcoming tour of India in early December. The squads for this multi-format have now been announced.

Sophie Ecclestone and Nat Sciver-Brunt returns to England Squad for their India Tour. PC: Getty Images
Sophie Ecclestone and Nat Sciver-Brunt return to England Squad for their India Tour. PC: Getty Images

England’s upcoming 3-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series and a One-Off Test will be their first away series since dominating their tour of the Caribbean in December 2022. Bound to Mumbai, the team will contest the T20Is at Wankhede, followed by the red-ball Test at DY Patil Stadium.

Preparations for England have been in full swing well in advance, with head coach John Lewis addressing the team’s weakness against spin. Acknowledging the concern, a camp was organized in Mumbai ahead of the ongoing 09 edition of the Women’s Big Bash League, involving a select few players. Additionally, the team is scheduled to travel to Oman for a training camp from November 17 to December 2.

Strengthening England’s lineup is the latest development on star spinner Sophie Ecclestone. Included in both squads after undergoing shoulder surgery in September, Sophie is expected to continue her rehab and make a return to cricket leading up to the series in India. On the injury front, England also receives welcoming news with Tash Farrant in line to return following surgery for a stress fracture of the lumbar spine.

The squad named for both the T20Is and the Test holds no surprises or disappointments. Notably, selectors have shown confidence in wicketkeeper batter Bess Heath, who debuted in England’s One Day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka in September and has a promising run. England’s recent international debutants – Lauren Filer, Danielle Gibson, and Mahika Gaur, who showcased noteworthy performances earlier this year, have successfully retained their spots in the squad.

England’s T20I squad for India 2023 tour:

Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Mahika Gaur, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Freya Kemp, Heather Knight (C), Nat Sciver-Brunt, Danielle Wyatt

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In expected lines, Tammy Beaumont remains sidelined from the T20I squad, with her Test spot untouched and unchallenged following a Test double ton in the Women’s Ashes, while Bess Heath and white-ball mainstay Alice Capsey are in line for a potential Test debut.

England’s Test squad for India tour 2023:

Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Lauren Filer, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Heather Knight (C), Emma Lamb, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Danielle Wyatt

India v England, series schedule:

6-Dec-2023 1st T20I
7:00 PM
Wankhede Stadium
9-Dec-2023 2nd T20I
10-Dec-2023 3rd T20I
14-17-Dec-2023 One-off Test 9:30 AM DY Patil Stadium
As part of England’s tour of India, an A series is also scheduled. A 21-player squad has been chosen to train in Oman from November 12 to 25, in the lead-up to their 3-match T20 series against India A. The squad of 21 will be trimmed to a 14-player squad that will be named in due course, and those not selected will remain in Oman and train with the senior squad.

England ‘A’ Oman training camp squad:

Hollie Armitage, Hannah Baker, Alice Davidson-Richards, Georgia Davis, Charlie Dean, Tash Farrant, Lauren Filer, Mahika Gaur, Kirstie Gordon, Liberty Heap, Freya Kemp, Emma Lamb, Ryana MacDonald-Gay, Kalea Moore, Sophie Munro, Grace Potts, Grace Scrivens, Seren Smale, Rhianna Southby, Mady Villiers, Issy Wong

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India A v England A, series schedule:
29-Nov-2023 1st T20
1:30 PM
Wankhede Stadium
01-Dec-2023 2nd T20
03-Dec-2023 3rd T20

The England A players have been without any cricket action since the conclusion of the ’23 domestic season in September. In India-like surfaces and conditions, the Onam camp presents a perfect opportunity for these rusty bodies to warm up.

Both series, against India A and its senior team, are expected to be closely contested. With the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh just months away, it adds an exciting dimension to witness the teams’ ‘inspiring and entertaining’ approach on subcontinent tracks, while bench strength will also remain an aim to hit right.

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