The last Women’s Ashes was played in England in 2019, which Australia went on to win. The upcoming Women’s Ashes will be played in Australia from January 27 to February 19, this year. Since 2013, Women’s Ashes have been a multi-format affair, including one Test, three ODIs and three T20Is. The cumulative points determine the winner of the Ashes.
The Women’s Ashes is just a stone’s throw away and England have already named their squad for the competition.
England squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Maia Bouchier, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt
On the other hand, the hosts, Australia are yet to announce their squad. So, who could form a part of the squad of the defending champions? Taking some cues from the last Australian squad that played the Ashes, it is likely that most of the players are going to be the same.
Australia squad in 2019 Ashes: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (VC), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
From the 15-member Australian squad, players like Nicole Bolton, Delissa Kimmince, and Elyse Villani no longer play for Australia, however, they continue to participate in the domestic competitions as well as Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). Thus, there is a clear chance for atleast three new players to make it to the Australian squad for the Ashes. So, who could be these three players? Ofcourse, given the COVID-19 protocols, it is likely that the squad can be bigger than 15 members. Here are a few players who have a strong chance of making it to the Australian squad for the Women’s Ashes.
The wicket-keeper bat was a part of the Australia squad during the India series that was played in September-October last year. Though she didn’t get a chance to make her debut, there is no doubt about her ability both with the bat and gloves. The opening batter had a good outing in the WBBL having muscled 437 runs in 14 matches, including five centuries.
The wily leg spinner was the highest wicket-taker in the 2021 WBBL. The 24-year old scalped 23 wickets in 17 matches, including a five-wicket haul. Having played for Australia before between 2016 and 2018, she has the experience of playing international cricket. She has featured in one Test, 12 ODIs, and eight T20Is so far.
The right-arm speedster was one of the best performers in the India-Australia series that was played last year. She picked up five wickets in two ODIs and was impressive with her line and length. She is known to swing the new ball well and also has a good bouncer in her repertoire. In the recently concluded WBBL, she was the third-highest wicket-taker with 20 wickets in 15 matches.
The right-hand opening bat had a phenomenal WBBL last year as she completed the tournament as the second-highest run-getter. She mustered 513 runs in 15 innings, including five half-centuries. She had the best batting average of 64.12 in the tournament. Riding on good form, the 28-year old has a good chance of making it to the Australian squad for the Women’s Ashes.
Apart from these four players, Annabel Sutherland, Stella Campbell, Hannah Darlington, and Tahlia McGrath, who were a part of the Australian squad for the India series, which was their last international outing could be considered for the Women’s Ashes.
There is no doubt that Australia has a lot of talent and it will be a tough call for the selectors to pick the best for the upcoming Women’s Ashes.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.