Wednesday, 3 September 2014

England Women v South Africa 2nd T20

Thoughts on England's win in Northampton...
  • Charlotte Edwards' storming limited-overs summer continues - across the ODIs and T20s she has scored over half of England's runs. (Though add on the Test and it falls back to a "mere" 37%!) 
  • A side-effect of Edwards' performances at Chelmsford and Northampton is that neither Heather Knight or Danni Wyatt have had a bat yet in this series; though Heather picked up a couple of wickets with the ball tonight. 
  • I still think Knight should be opening - Winfield looked largely unconvincing again today; and though a couple of storming shots gave notice of her potential to hit through the ball, there were still more questions asked than answered I feel.
  • On the South African side, I have been really impressed with Dane van Niekerk - she looks a very solid batsman, and bowled her leg-spinners pretty tidily here and at Chelmsford as well. Like captain Mignon du Preez, she may be even better-suited to 50-over cricket - look out for her at the 2017 World Cup when, aged 24, she'll be approaching her best years with both bat and ball!
  • England were obviously some lengths ahead of South Africa again, even though the Women Proteas performed much better today than they did at Chelmsford; but was this a performance that would win us a World T20? I'm not sure. We scored runs at "7", which is what we need to be doing, but that's a lot easier to do against an attack that bowls a fair few of loose deliveries as the Saffers did tonight, and I can't help feeling that we are still some way behind Australia, who are currently showing us what a real walloping is against Pakistan.

1 comment:

  1. I know you make no claims that it's anything more than a feeling, but I don't think the hypothesis that Australia are better than England at all, never mind by a large margin, has any real merit. Over the last 16 matches between the two sides, England are up 11 to 5.

    Admittedly Australia taking the last three makes a compelling case that the balance may have shifted, but it's worth noting that two over those were dead rubbers at the end of an overseas tour. If we remove those and other dead rubbers (the last match of the home Ashes, the group match in Galle to decide who topped the group, and the last two matches of the previous tour to Aus), then England's record is 8 to 2.

    England's problem, then, has not been that they don't score quickly enough, it's that they've had a couple of off days during world finals (and that they sadly get too little practice playing month-long overseas series). Indeed, in their last victory against Australia, they chased down 150 with 13 balls unused.

    Which is not to say that a little more power would be unwelcome. I'd like to see them have enough confidence that they're better than South Africa to bring the boundaries in and and test themselves, rather than slavishly maximise their chances of winning the next match.

    However, the greater problem to me is a lack of depth to the batting, and as you point out, Edwards's stunning form is not really helping in that regard. I'd like to see either or both of Edwards and Taylor dropped to the bottom of the order against lower tier opposition as a matter of course (I recall them doing that against the West Indies at Arundel a couple of years ago, which sadly resulted in a loss, but only thanks to an exceptional innings by Dottin. Then again, it may not have helped the batting depth an awful lot either, given that Brunt top-scored. But that's why they have to do it more often).

    I think I've shared my pet theory about the opening position before, but I think that (other Edwards, of course) none of them since Marsh have felt they were worthy enough of taking up balls that Taylor might otherwise be facing, and have ended up being too cavalier with their wickets. Alternately playing with Edwards at one and Taylor at 11 and vice versa would therefore force the other opener to bat properly.

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