England selectors have declared the squad for the much anticipated Women’s World T20, to be held in November in the Carribean. The selectors have shown faith in 3 new uncapped faces Kirstie Gordon, Linsey Smith and Sophia Dunkley, who have done well at the domestic level.
The 3 new players have featured in the recent Kia Super League and had a big part to play in their side’s success. Kirstie Gordon, is a 21 year old who has also represented Scotland and was part of their campaign during last year’s qualifiers. Representing Loughborough Lightnings, she was the highest wicket taker in the tournament and picked up 17 wickets at an average of 12.47 and economy rate of 6.05.
Linsey Smith who is a left arm spinner and also a part of the Lightnings squad managed to pick up 11 wickets in the tournament with an economy of 6.40.
Sophia Dunkley who was the part of the cup winning squad of Surrey Stars grabbed 6 wickets in the tournament with best figures of 3/18. Known for her batting prowess, she managed to score 98 runs at a strike rate of nearly 120 which included a blistering knock of 66 against the Southern Vipers.
Apart from the 3 debutants, the English have a fairly experienced squad with the captain Heather Knight leading from front. She was the second highest scorer in KSL with 368 runs coming at an average of 46 and healthy strike rate of 133. The batting line up looks very strong with Tammy Beaumont, Danielle Wyatt and Natalie Sciver forming a formidable top order. Sciver too had a successful outing at KSL where she was the 3rd highest top scorer with 362 runs and also picked up 10 wickets.
Amy Jones will shoulder the wicket keeping responsibilities in absence of star keeper Sarah Taylor whose services will be missed due to anxiety issues. The bowling looks solid with Sophie Ecclestone who managed to pick 15 wickets in KSL and Danielle Hazell leading the bowling department. The pace bowlers Jenny Gunn (14 wickets in KSL), Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole will get some purchase on the Windies wickets. Anya Shrubsole was the player of the tournament in 2014 edition of the Women’s T20 World Cup for picking up 13 wickets in the tournament.
Players to be missed
The England team will miss the services of Alex Hartley, Fran Wilson, Laura Marsh and Georgia Elwiss who were all part of the World Cup winning squad.
The English are placed in Group A alongside Sri Lanka, South Africa, the host Windies and a qualifying nation. England have had a successful history in this tournament when they were crowned the champions in the inaugural edition in 2009 where they defeated New Zealand Women by 6 wickets.
However, in the 2010 edition which was held in the Caribbean too, they were knocked out after the first round. They were runner-ups in both 2012 and 2014 edition and featured in the semis in the latest 2016 World T20 in India. The English have been one of the most successful sides in the tournament winning 18 of their 24 matches they have featured over the years with a win percentage of 77.
Key Players to look out for –
Heather Knight – The skipper along with her good form is now a veteran of the game. She has scored 533 runs in T20Is at a strike rate of 112.68 and will look to extend her runs tally in the tournament.
Natalie Sciver – The Tokyo born all-rounder is the mainstay of English batting lineup and is currently ranked 10th in ICC all-rounders list. She has scored 866 runs in her 50 T20Is and has picked up 41 wickets at an average of 18.78.
Danielle Wyatt – A sensation on Social Media for her liking towards the Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli, she is a useful all-rounder, she has scored 994 runs at a strike rate of 127 and has picked 46 wickets with best of 4/11.
Danielle Hazell – This 30 year old veteran off spinner has picked up 84 wickets at an economy of 5.50 and an average of 20 per wicket. She ranks 6th in the T20I bowler rankings of ICC and her spin will have a huge impact on the slow Caribbean wickets.
Sophie Ecclestone – One of the leading wicket takers in KSL with 15 wickets, the 19 year old left arm spinner has picked up 19 wickets in T20Is in her 14 matches with best figures of 4/18 against New Zealand.
England Squad –
Heather Knight (c), Danni Wyatt, Nat Sciver, Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Eccelstone, Tash Farrant, Kirstie Gordon, Jenny Gunn, Dani Hazell, Amy Jones (wk), Linsey Smith, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield