Lets be honest, I didn’t see the game today, I had that work thing that often allows me to travel overseas with the team, BUT today meant I missed my first day of ashes cricket since 2005 – for those of you not around back then, it was when the Ashes was a two test series!
Having been able to be a little more remote from the game, what are my thoughts?? When people ask me, I return to the sentiment I expressed via this blog during this winter – the team have the all the skills required to beat the best.
However, perhaps with more consideration I think you need a couple more aspects- 1) cricket intelligence, 2) heart and 3) match nous/belief. For example, I can look fantastic on the golf driving range, but the next Laura Davies I am not – I’ll explain perhaps why not…
1. I’m pretty decent with a 7-iron on the range or a wedge on the practise ground but I don’t have the game intelligence to know how to use the other sticks, or how much welly to give each shot or where to aim it,
2. quite frankly I’d probably rather be watching a cricket match, hopefully in the sunshine, than slogging round the course plus its me on my own – there’s very little team spirit on the golf course outside the Ryder and Sondheim cups.and
3. as I’ve only been round the course about half a dozen times in my life, I don’t know when to do what, if I’m doing it right or making an idjit of myself, and I’m likely to second guess my decisions!
What does this mean for England Women?
County/Super 4’s/EWA experience should be transferable to the international arena, and many of this team have been playing for many seasons at home, plus many have experienced playing domestically overseas, but its not exactly the same, especially with the kind of crowds we’ve had this week. In Lottie the team has one of the most respected and successful leaders in any sport who has been able to get ‘her girls’ up for Ashes, finals or key games with ease, but somehow the team don’t seem to be playing for each other. And, chopping and changing the team, bringing in people who have not been involved thus far, or who’ve not experienced much international cricket does not seem likely to fill them with self confidence!
All that said, I’ve seen most of these players playing, home and abroad, from club to international level, for many years, during which time I’ve met many of their parents and friends, and the one thing I know, whoever is actually put on the park for the test match or the T20s next month, the players will be determined to do their best – I can’t doubt their heart, and given that I’ve previously said they have the skills, perhaps it is the mental aspects that need more consideration…