Preview of The Women’s Ashes Series 2019 : Australia in England

It has been a busy month in England with the Men’s Cricket World Cup in full swing. Half way into it, the next month is supposed to be even more exciting and eventful as women’s cricket joins the fray. It’s time for another Ashes series – this time as Australia Women tour England in July looking to retain their hold on the Ashes crown. After 2 practice games this month, England and Australia will square off in an ODI series comprising of 3 matches followed by 1 test match and rounding off with 3 T20 matches to end the series. The schedule of their international matches stands as follows:

Preview of The Women’s Ashes Series 2019 : Australia in England

  • July 2 – First ODI at Leicester
  • July 4 – Second ODI at Leicester
  • July 7 – Third ODI at Canterbury
  • July 18-21 – Only test at Taunton
  • July 26 – First T20I at Chelmsford
  • July 28 – Second T20I at Brighton
  • July 31 – Third T20I at Bristol

The last Ashes series played in England was way back in 2015. During that time, it was England who had hoped to retain that crown. Australia won the ODI series 2-1 after winning the last two matches, Meg Lanning scoring a century in the second and a half-century in the third to contribute to their victory. Australia won the test match convincingly by 161 runs but fell short in the T20Is losing to England 1-2. By virtue of winning the test match and collecting 4 points, Australia won the Ashes by a margin of 10 points to England’s 6. Australia’s Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning starred with the bat scoring most runs. Ellyse Perry also was the highest wicket-taker in the series closely followed by England’s Anya Shrubsole.

When it comes to Australia facing England in cricket history, Australia generally have had the upper hand. They have faced each other in 49 test matches with Australia winning 12 of those and England winning 9. The remaining 28 matches have been drawn. In Ashes alone, Australia have a slight edge over England in ODIs winning 7 matches and losing 5 of the 12 matches they have played. However, with 75 matches played between them across all ODIs, England has managed to win only 22 of those. England do have a better record in their T20 meetings with England winning 8 of the 12 matches in Ashes alone and 17 out of 31 T20Is overall.

Type of Match

Ashes Only

Overall

Matches Played

 

Australia Won

England Won

Matches Played

Australia Won

England Won

Test

49

12

9

49

12

9

ODIs

12

7

5

75

49

22

T20s

12

4

8

31

13

17

It is clear from the table that ODIs are a stronger suit for Australia and T20Is are the stronger suit for England. In the tests, there is no clear winner as there has been a high proportion of drawn tests. Perhaps 5-day tests would have yielded more results over 3-day tests as is the case.

With both sides having top-quality players, the series promises to be very exciting. Both sides have a mix of experienced stalwarts and talented young players and this will be an important series for them. Here as some of the players to look out for in this series:

Amy Jones (England): England’s new wicket-keeper is an exciting young talent. Although she is no match to Sarah Taylor’s brilliance behind the stumps, she has been in scintillating form with the bat, with scores of 91 and 80 in the recently concluded ODI series against West Indies at home, coming in a very quick time as well. In their previous assignment in Sri Lanka, she scored a half-century in each of the 3 matches to notch up 209 runs in the ODI series. With her red-hot form, she will be a prized wicket for any Australian.

Sarah Taylor (England): Sarah Taylor is England’s first-choice wicket keeper, and she deserves to be one. She is quick and athletic behind the stumps, has tremendous experience of playing against Australia and is proficient with the bat as well. She came out of her career break against West Indies in the recently concluded ODI series and got into the groove rather quickly, scoring 70 runs of just 61 balls in the third ODI to set up a competitive target for West Indies, which they could not overhaul. It will be interesting to she how she copes up during a long series against a team like Australia.

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Heather Knight (England): An astute captain, a sound batswoman and a handy all-rounder, Heather Knight can never be kept out of action. In the recently concluded ODI series against West Indies, she scored a run-a-ball 94 in the first ODI and followed it up with a brutal cameo of 40 runs off just 19 balls in the third ODI hitting 5 fours and 2 sixes. She also picked up 2 wickets bowling just 7.4 overs. In the last Ashes series in Australia in 2017, she scored 89 runs off only 80 deliveries in the third ODI.

Danielle Wyatt (England): Although not very successful in ODIs recently, Danielle Wyatt is a force to reckon with in T20s. In the ongoing T20Is against West Indies, she scored 81 off only 55 balls to lay a strong foundation for a huge score. She also had a good outing in the Women’s T20 Challenge in India recently scoring 46 runs off 35 balls against Trailblazers and 43 runs off 33 balls against Supernovas. If she can bring this ferocity in the ODIs, she is bound to be an excellent finisher as she showed during their tour to Sri Lanka last year, in which she scored 47 runs off only 26 balls in the first ODI. She also scored a half-century and a century in the T20 series of the last Ashes campaign in Australia in 2017.

Katherine Brunt (England): A veteran for England, Katherine Brunt is a power-hitter and an important bowler for her side. In the second ODI recently played against West Indies, she scored a run-a-ball 23. She also picked up 2 wickets in the ODIs and 2 wickets in the 2nd T20I played against West Indies. However, he had been an effective contributor earlier in the tours of India and Sri Lanka. She picked up 5 wickets for 28 runs against India in the 3rd ODI. She also picked up 5 wickets in the 2 T20Is that was played against India. She played only 1 ODI and 1 T20I against Sri Lanka and picked up 3 wickets in the ODI and 2 wickets in the T20.

Anya Shrubsole (England): Anya Shrubsole has been the spearhead of the England bowing for a long time. Her raw pace combined with her accuracy make her a lethal bowler for the team. Who can forget how she opened up the finals of the World Cup in 2017 by picking up quick wickets in the middle overs and ended up winning the Cup for England? She has been among the top wicket-takers for England and is trusted upon during crucial moments while England take the field.

Sophie Ecclestone (England): Sophie Ecclestone is having an excellent opening to her career for England. She is still a young talent having played just 18 ODIs and 20 T20Is but has been regularly among the wickets. She has taken 30 wickets in the ODIs at an average of just 18.40 runs per wicket and an economy rate of just 3.56. In the T20Is, she has picked up 25 wickets at a strike rate of just over 20. In the recent ODIs against West Indies, she picked up 5 wickets.

Alyssa Healy (Australia): Alyssa Healy is the Australian wicket-keeper and more importantly, an explosive opening batswoman for her side. Much like her male counterpart, David Warner, she can shatter any bowling attack and provide a quick start to the innings raising a strong platform for her team. She was the highest run-getter in last T20I played – against New Zealand in Australia – scoring 2 half centuries at better than a-run-a-ball and won the T20I series for her team. She can carry this ability to the ODIs as well to provide strong starts when her team needs to. It will be important for England to get her out quickly before she destroys their bowling attack.

Meg Lanning (Australia): Meg Lanning is the captain of the Australian side and has led Australia from the front on many occasions. She is experienced as a player and captain and her batting records prove her strong credentials with the bat as well. Playing only 72 ODIs, she is already the leading run-maker for Australia among active players having an average above 50 and has 12 centuries to her name, the most by any player. She can play the role of an anchor and can ensure that her team consistently reaches and chases high totals. She is also the leading run-getter for Australia in the T20Is.

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Ellyse Perry (Australia): Ellyse Perry has been an important player in Australia’s success over the years. A middle-order batswoman, she can stitch good partnerships and rotate strikes in the middle overs. She also has the firepower to launch an assault in the final overs and set and chase stiff scores. In their previous outing against New Zealand at home, she scored a century in the second ODI and another half-century in the third as Australia won the ODI series 3-0. She is also a handy contributor with the ball and took 4 wickets for 21 runs in the third T20I against New Zealand. In the last Ashes test played in Australia, she demonstrated her all-round abilities by scoring a double century and picking up 3 wickets as well. In short, she can be considered among Australia’s Most Valuable Player.

Jess Jonassen (Australia): Australia’s front-line spin-bowler, Jess Jonassen can tie one end down with her skills leading to drying up of runs and eventually picking up bagful of wickets. In the previous assignment against New Zealand, she was the highest wicket-taker in the ODI series picking up 9 wickets picking up 4/43 in the first ODI and 5/27 in the second. She has picked up 87 wickets in the ODIs and 41 wickets in T20Is with an average of under 25. She is also known for her cameos down the order. England’s fortunes in the Ashes may end up being determined by how they tackle her spin and keep her quiet while bowling.

Megan Schutt (Australia): Megan Schutt is Australia’s strike bowler. Fast and accurate, she is known for her wicket-taking abilities. She is experienced and consistently among the wickets. In the last Ashes series in Australia, she took 10 wickets in the ODI series and 6 wickets in the T20Is, easily the top wicket-taker in that series. She has taken 75 wickets in the ODIs at an average of just under 25 and another 57 wickets in the T20Is at an average of just over 15 per wicket. She is good both in the opening overs and the death overs and she is sure to keep England on their toes while they are batting.

Rachel Haynes (Australia): An opening batswoman for Australia, Rachel Haynes consistently has provided good starts for Australia. In the last Ashes in Australia, she made 89 off only 56 balls to guide Australia to a strong total, which proved too difficult for England. More recently against New Zealand, she shored 69 not out off just 40 balls in the first T20I and 67 off 80 balls in the first ODI to set up a match-winning score in both occasions. She will need to provide a good platform if Australia are to do well in England.

If the last Ashes series is anything to go by, this series promises to be very interesting. In the last Ashes, Australia won the ODI series 2-1 while England won the T20Is 2-1. Australia have been stronger in ODIs and England stronger in T20Is, so the result could be pretty much the same again. Much will depend on the test match, which in case of women is unfortunately only of 4 days. The good news is that the last Ashes test on English soil did produce a result, and men’s tests have been completed in 4 days recently. If there is a result in the test match, the series could sway towards the winner of the test. If the Ashes ends in a draw, Australia will end up retaining the Ashes crown.

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