England’s summer time began within the late June sunshine towards Australia at Trent Bridge and ended with a rain-affected thrashing of Sri Lanka at Leicester.
There have been record-breaking crowds all through, with the excessive of a drawn Ashes sequence contrasted by a shock T20 sequence defeat by Sri Lanka.
From Tammy Beaumont’s Check double-century to the emergence of a star in quick bowler Mahika Gaur, it has actually been a memorable summer time, however what have we discovered about England’s crew and its future?
1. Seam division in good well being
The retirement of legends Katherine Sciver-Brunt and Anya Shrubsole was all the time going to depart a void within the assault, however 2023 confirmed the way forward for England’s seam-bowling division is shiny.
The skilled Kate Cross is already established as a dependable and economical performer with the brand new ball for captain Heather Knight, however this was a coming-of-age summer time for Lauren Bell.
Bell, 22, took 14 wickets throughout the Ashes and, whereas she was on the receiving finish of a Georgia Wareham onslaught within the second one-day worldwide at Southampton, which noticed Australia retain the Ashes, she nonetheless seems to be a extra assured and guaranteed bowler after her second full yr in worldwide cricket.
The summer time’s debutants, Lauren Filer and Gaur, present the joy. Filer, 22, hit speeds of 76mph within the Ashes Check, a dream private debut the place she dismissed star Ellyse Perry in each innings and captivated the group together with her uncooked tempo.
Gaur, the six-foot tall 17-year-old, might not have examined herself towards Australia but however she displayed her bounce, swing and talent towards Sri Lanka. She is nowhere close to the completed article however the early indicators recommend she and Filer, if they will keep injury-free, will probably be taking part in worldwide cricket for a very long time.
There may be nonetheless concern round Issy Wong, who went with no sport throughout the Ashes and was dropped by Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred – ultimately solely taking part in as soon as for England all summer time in defeat by Sri Lanka within the second T20, when her run-up struggles have been evident.
However Wong remains to be solely 21, and has loads of time to work on her sport and slot again into England’s fast-bowling cartel, which additionally contains promising all-rounder Danielle Gibson.
2. Spin goes from power to power
The numbers do the speaking for Sophie Ecclestone, who took a 10-wicket match haul towards Australia within the Check earlier than taking 10 wickets within the white-ball Ashes matches that adopted.
Whereas her summer time sadly led to surgical procedure on a dislocated shoulder, the 24-year-old stays, alongside Nat Sciver-Brunt, England’s most dependable and harmful participant.
Ecclestone’s stardom seems to assist England’s different spinners, off-spinner Charlie Dean and leg-spinner Sarah Glenn, who go about about their work effectively with out a lot fuss.
Since coach Jon Lewis took over England in November 2022, England’s spinners have excelled, taking 18 wickets on the winter tour to the West Indies, 22 within the T20 World Cup in South Africa, and 31 wickets within the Ashes.
Dean, 22, took her first five-wicket haul for England within the remaining ODI towards Sri Lanka to strengthen England’s spin depth.
With Alice Capsey additionally obtainable as a part-time possibility, England’s spin shares are enviable and will show essential in December’s tour to India, and subsequent yr’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.
3. Batting considerations towards spin
Whereas England’s personal spinners are in nice kind, there are nonetheless considerations in regards to the batting line-up’s method to taking part in sluggish bowling.
England’s success within the Ashes got here regardless of Australia off-spinner Ash Gardner taking 23 wickets throughout the sequence, together with 12 within the Check.
There was nowhere to cover within the T20 sequence towards Sri Lanka, as an England aspect with just a few key gamers rested have been twice skittled by spin to lose 2-1.
Lewis has labored wonders with England’s batting positivity however it will get a bit of misplaced in translation towards the spinners, with batters wanting indecisive about when, and the way onerous, to assault.
“It is one thing we’re conscious of,” stated Lewis. “Within the build-up to the India sequence, we go to Oman and we will probably be recreating situations.
“I can even take 5 – 6 of them out to Mumbai to a specialist batting camp. We’re going to get on the market and work and try to get higher.”
4. Hole closing on Australia – lastly
For greater than a decade, Australia have dominated girls’s cricket. Going into the summer time’s Ashes, they held the urn, each World Cups, and the Commonwealth Video games.
Successful a sport or two would have been a triumph for England. Few would have predicted a draw, with England profitable each white-ball sequence, particularly after Australia took a 6-0 factors lead after profitable the Check and the primary T20.
However boosted by packed-out crowds, England roared again in fashion and, whereas Australia retained the Ashes, it was Knight’s aspect who seemed extra like winners with grins on their faces after profitable the ultimate ODI in Taunton.
England’s aggressive fashion of play was the important thing, because it appeared to take the world’s finest unexpectedly.
“I might say we’re not that far aside,” stated Sciver-Brunt. “So long as we preserve our intent and the best way that we play there is not an excessive amount of of a niche.”
5. Subsequent in keeping with the bat stays unclear
The bowling assault could also be blessed with depth however little has been discovered about the way forward for England’s batting line-up.
They do boast enviable expertise and talent with Danni Wyatt, Beaumont, Knight and Sciver-Brunt all taking part in starring roles at some stage throughout the summer time – the latter hitting consecutive ODI centuries towards Australia earlier than making England girls’s quick ODI century within the remaining match towards Sri Lanka.
However whereas Maia Bouchier saved her finest till final after just a few white-ball alternatives, scoring a elegant 95 towards Sri Lanka, opener Emma Lamb didn’t take advantage of her possibilities, all-rounder Freya Kemp didn’t nail down a spot regardless of a few entertaining cameos, and Sophia Dunkley was inconsistent.
Amy Jones has been her typical immaculate self behind the stumps, however her batting is a priority as she has not scored a global half-century since December 2022.
The T20 sequence defeat by Sri Lanka additionally hinted at an over-reliance on Sciver-Brunt, as even the skilled gamers that remained within the aspect in Knight, Wyatt and Jones struggled, earlier than she returned to offer England a masterclass in taking part in spin within the remaining ODI.
Capsey, 19, is already a mainstay of the line-up however wanting forward, it isn’t fairly as simple to see who’s coming subsequent within the batting division as it’s with the bowling.