I hope you all enjoyed my debut for Women’s Sports UK (WSUK) last week. I certainly enjoyed writing it. Since then we’ve had the start of the Women’s Ashes.
Pretty much like the men’s, all went well to begin with. I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, but it goes for both the men’s and women’s, that you’ve got to make the most of the Australians when they’ve only just arrived. And we did. The first one-day went completely to plan from England’s point of view as they won by 4 wickets at Taunton. However, it doesn’t take long for the Aussies to acclimatise and in the second and third one-days England were outplayed and out-thought, losing the second by 63 runs and the third by 89.
I’m afraid there were some glaring issues in the latter two games that will have to be tackled before the 3 Twenty20 games at the end of August and beginning of September. I don’t have concerns about the test match – it’s the short form we’re lacking in.
Let’s state now that I adore Charlotte Edwards to the point of hero-worship. But I am not blind to her faults. Very much like Alastair Cook, she is a creature of habit. She has her plans – and they are good plans – but is reluctant to deviate if they don’t work. Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole opening the bowling – 5 overs each. No questions. No messing. No change. It didn’t bring a wicket in the second game so, guess what, let’s do it all again in the third! At the risk of sounding like Geoffrey Boycott (put me down now) if plan A doesn’t work you’ve got to have a plan B, then a plan C etc. I’m afraid she didn’t look like she even had a B. I don’t know what the answer is to that, she’s been captain for over 200 internationals now and I’m not the person to tell her she’s doing it wrong! All I’m saying is that there’s got to be more flexibility as games very rarely go completely to plan.
Secondly, and I really do feel I’m attacking the twin pillars of English women’s cricket, someone needs to get hold of Sarah Taylor and tell her 30 is not enough. So many times she gets a start but doesn’t carry through. Dan Norcross made exactly the same point in the TMS commentary yesterday. He’s someone else I rarely agree with, but on this occasion I found myself nodding along. She’s one of the best batters in the world so it’s about time she acted like it.
In the meantime Meg Lanning, Elyse Perry, et al, go past England without pausing for breath.
Enough of this carping. On the positive front, the coverage of the Ashes has been brilliant so far. There’s so much discussion out there about the game and its future and it’s not just comparing it unfavourably to the men’s game. In fact you know you’ve made it when they’re starting to talk about it in the Daily Telegraph. Excellent piece today by Jonathan Liew on Meg Lanning and her place in women’s cricketing history.
I’m going to be in Canterbury for the test match so expect plenty of comment!