Fantasy Preview | Women's Ashes | Only Test Match
Written By: Jeet Vachharajani
Picture Courtesy: Harry Trump / Getty Images
After two out of the three T20Is were abandoned, all the focus shifts onto the solitary Test match between the two teams. Australia has a 2-point lead heading into this Test match.
The prize for winning this Test match is 4 points and both the teams are still in the race with no one having a significant lead as there hasn’t been much play. In case of a draw, both teams will be awarded 2 points each.
VENUE: Manuka Oval, Canberra
There is always a lot of grass left a few days prior to the start of a Test match and the pitch at Canberra was no different. However, the grass will be trimmed on the eve of the game and it shall offer good conditions for batting. The new ball will be a threat for a span of 15-20 overs and there will be gentle swing thereafter.
HEAD-TO-HEAD (Last 5 games)
Australia - 1 | England - 1 | Draw - 3
Australia: Alyssa Healy (WK), Rachael Haynes, Meg Lanning (C), Ellyse Perry, Beth Mooney, Ash Gardner, Tahlia McGrath, Jess Jonassen, Darcie Brown, Megan Schutt, Stella Campbell
England: Lauren Winfield-Hill, Tammy Beaumont, Nat Sciver, Heather Knight (C), Amy Jones (WK), Sophia Dunkley, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Lauren Bell
• Ellyse Perry has churned out runs and picked up wickets with ease. She has a double-century to boast of and also scored 116 & 76* in the last Ashes Test in 2019. Since she has been doing such a stellar job with the bat, her bowling role becomes restricted to manage her workload.
• Megan Schutt & Lauren Bell become key figures because of the swing they generate.
• Nat Sciver, Jess Jonassen, & Tahlia McGrath add the all-round value.
• Heather Knight is a class apart with the bat and I expect her to score the most no. of runs for England in this Test. With Charlie Dean being a potential pick in the XI, Knight’s role might be restricted with the ball.
• Meg Lanning & Rachael Haynes are too good to be left out as well. They have the experience of the big stage and plenty of runs under their belt.
• Out of the two wicket-keepers, Amy Jones might be the correct one to pick. Healy will open the innings and will have to negotiate the new-ball threat. If history is anything to go by, then there have been instances where Australia has just batted once which would mean that Jones might have two goes with the bat. Also, Amy batted really well in the last Ashes Test.
• Sophie Ecclestone is hard to be left out. While spin is not expected to play a major part, Ecclestone always is a threat even on flat pitches.
• Katherine Brunt becomes an iffy choice. She picks up an early wicket, but finishes with average figures and doesn’t fetch much value.
• Kate Cross hasn’t played any game on this tour and is short of match practice.
• Beth Mooney is back after a jaw injury. Whether she delivers or not is a bit of a question mark for me.
• Lauren Winfield-Hill & Tammy Beaumont will again be massively challenged by the Aussie new-ball pacers. While Winfield hasn’t played any game on this tour, Beaumont has a technical issue with balls coming back into her with Megan Schutt standing as a straight-up threat.
• Darcie Brown is an incredible express pacer. She is very disciplined and bowls attacking lengths. She could prove to be a game-changer.
• Stella Campbell has been added to the squad in place of Tayla Vlaeminck. She might possibly find a spot in the XI straight away as this is the very venue where she recently registered figures of 7/25 in a One Day Domestic game.
You can pick any one of Darcie Brown or Lauren Bell, whoever gets to make the first use of the pitch. C/Vc choices: Tahlia McGrath, Heather Knight, Nat Sciver, & Ellyse Perry.
Disclaimer: This is merely a sample team and we would suggest you to use your own instincts and do your own research.