Meg Lanning, Australia, Women's Ashes
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Women’s Ashes 2022 guide

| 18.01.2022
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A look ahead to the Australia v England series

England Women head to Australia to try and secure a first Women’s Ashes victory Down Under since 2013-14.

The multi-format series gets under way at Adelaide on January 20 with three T20s that are worth two points each.

There will then be a one-off Test match at Canberra worth four points, before the series comes to a conclusion with three one-day internationals, worth two points each, with the final game set to be played on February 8.

DRS will be used in the Women’s Ashes for the first time and the two captains will have to play their referrals to the third umpire wisely over the course of the series.

Here, we look at everything you need to know about the Women’s Ashes and assess England’s chances of lifting the trophy before they roll on to New Zealand for the delayed Women’s World Cup.

What are England’s chances?

Similar to their male counterparts, England go into this series as underdogs, with Australia the dominant force in women’s cricket and the number one ranked team in the world, as well as the current T20 World Cup holders.

Australia have not been beaten in any series since the 2013-14 Ashes, and have been bolstered by domestic professionalisation which came into effect for the 2015-16 Big Bash.

Who are England’s key players?

Heather Knight 

England’s skipper has been a stalwart in the middle order since her debut in 2010, making the natural progression from vice-captain to lead the team in 2016 following the retirement of Charlotte Edwards.

Well suited to the Test format with an average of 37, she is also one of the few players to score a hundred in all three formats of the game.

Heather Knight, England, Women's Ashes

Sophie Ecclestone

Became the world number one ranked T20 bowler at the age of 20 and holds the position as she heads Down Under.

Now 22, the left-arm spinner has already impressed in Australia, taking eight wickets in four matches at the T20 World Cup, and is likely to be a crucial part of England’s bowling threat in all formats due to the control she offers with her flight and guile.

Sarah Glenn 

The only leg-spinner in England’s squad, Glenn is another all-rounder option behind Nat Sciver. She has taken 33 wickets in 24 T20I matches, and could be a useful option for the tourists on a turning pitch.

Although not a huge turner of the ball, she posesseses plenty of variations and a wrist spinner is always a vital asset Down Under. The 22-year-old took six wickets when in Australia for the 2022 T20 World Cup at a respectable economy rate of 4.25.

No longer a ‘newbie’ to the international scene, batters have tended to sit on Glenn and wait for her bad ball rather than take too many risks.

However, she has been working hard on her control and variation bowling plenty of overs at her father, Phil, a doyen of Derbyshire league cricket, at the county’s indoor facility before boarding the flight to Australia.

Katherine Brunt 

England’s most experienced player brings a fight and fire to every battle. Into her 37th year she continues to be a mainstay in England’s bowling line-up and remains the quickest bowler in the squad, despite not being able to reach the speed of previous years.

Sure to be involved in all formats, it will be interesting to see how much action Brunt does see, with the World Cup on the horizon.

Katherine Brunt, England, Women's Ashes

Nat Sciver 

England’s main all-rounder, Tokyo-born Sciver was the first player to hit a six in the inaugural Women’s Big Bash and the first England player – male or female – to take a T20I hat-trick. She averages 38.85 in ODIs and has a top Test score of 88.

Sciver has established herself as a key figure for her country and is one of the players England will be relying on most during the Women’s Ashes.

Women’s Ashes key battles

Spin to win?

England frontline spinner Ecclestone tops the world rankings as the number one Twenty20 bowler, with Glenn in second. The success of the spin twins could ultimately decide England’s fate and it could be a huge couple of months for the two youngsters who are unlikely to be found wanting.

Australia’s left-arm orthodox bowler Jess Jonassen tops the one-day international rankings, but spinning options Georgia Wareham and Sophie Molineux have both been ruled out of the Women’s Ashes.

Pace aces

Four of England’s seam bowlers also feature in the top 11, however it is the Australian pace attack that is likely to be the more threatening.

Megan Schutt is third and fourth for ODI and T20I rankings while Tayla Vlaeminck is widely considered the fastest bowler in women’s cricket, and could prove a tough test for England’s batters.

Australian batting

Ellyse Perry is the prized wicket for the England bowling attack, especially in the longer formats of the game.

The all-rounder boasts an inconceivable Test average of 86.62, and also averages 50.56 in one-day internationals.

The long-standing key to Australia’s batting prowess, she will have to be a target for the England bowling attack, having only been dismissed eight times in 15 innings in Test matches.

She scored a hundred at Taunton the last time these two squared off in the longer format and keeping her quiet could be the difference between winning and losing.

She will be ably assisted by skipper Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healy, who are stalwarts of the Aussie side, although Beth Mooney’s untimely injury will offer England plenty of hope.

The world’s number one T20 batter suffered a broken jaw in training and will undergo surgery in an attempt to be recovered in time for the World Cup.

Ellyse Perry, Australia, Women's Ashes

Fatigue and rotation

With the Women’s World Cup starting on March 4, less than a month after the final match of the Ashes, key to England’s success will be ensuring they avoid fatigue and injury.

As the current World Cup holders and with the chance to defend their crown, England may choose to rotate some players to ensure they can remain fit and fresh during the extended period in bubbles overseas.

There is also a mandatory 10-day quarantine for both teams upon entering New Zealand.

Covid-19 impact

Although the men’s Ashes was able to go ahead with a few scares, the women’s Ashes will be hoping to avoid any outbreaks.

A late positive Covid-19 test could also risk ruling a player out of the World Cup. The teams are likely to be heavily bubbled and could face lockdown fatigue as the series progresses.

Rescheduling factor

Just two days before the England squad departed from the United Kingdom, the series was brought forward by a week, reducing England’s opportunities for warm-up matches.

As seen with the men’s team, preparation can be the key to success in Australia. The T20Is were brought forward, with the Test match, which had been the series opener, taking place at the original time at the end of January.

England’s captain has been scathing in her analysis of the changes calling their preparation ‘comical’ and revealing that players have been training either on their own or in close-family bubbles as part of a two-week period of ‘safe living’ prior to their departure to Oz.

The changes were to give both teams time to travel to New Zealand and quarantine ahead of the World Cup, but it remains to be seen how much England’s chances will be dented by the shortened preparation time.

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Author

Adam Morgan