Can the England Women’s team win the Ashes in 2022? The series begins on January 27 but it’s one that has a quite different format from the men’s version that is currently being played down under.
Joe Root and his team are having a miserable five-test series against Australia. Their Ashes series is being played over three different versions of the game. There’s just one test match and that’s followed by three T-20 matches and then the same number of One Day Internationals. Winning the test match earns a team four points (two each if it’s a draw) and a win in the T20/One Day International matches is worth two points.
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This way of deciding the Ashes is interesting but should limited-overs cricket dominate it? One major concern in the women’s game is the lack of test cricket that is played and the fact they are played over four not five days. England captain Heather Knight says: “My opinion on that hasn’t changed. We play Tests so rarely, an extra day to get a result can only be a good thing.”
Still the single test played will be over a duration of four days. There really should be more than just one test being played. It’s a test in more ways than one and is the best way of deciding which is the best team.
It hasn’t always been this way. The 1984-85 series was a best-of-five test series. Over the years that number decreased down to just one in 2010-11 The new points system was introduced in 2013 with England winning the first couple of series. Australia regained the Ashes in 2015 and the last series was held in England in 2019 with Australia winning 12-4.
Whatever the thoughts over the format, it might give England a reasonable chance of regaining the Ashes. They certainly have a better chance than Joe Root and his team. England will want to avoid defeat in the test match. Going 4-0 down would leave them with an uphill battle for the rest of the series.
Australia are the T20 world champions, so are likely to have the edge in those three matches. However, England are the One Day International world champions. If they can get through the first four matches without too many disasters, then there is the chance of returning home with the Ashes.
It’s not going to be easy at all though. Australia still has Ellyse Perry, who excels with both the bat and ball. England have world-class players too and captain Heather Knight says that her team will have to “fight fire with fire.” Would it not be best to start and end the series with a test match? Going into the final match with four points at stake might just produce an exciting finish.
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