T20I tri-nation series (ENG, NZ, SA) preview

Year T20Is Runs/wkt Balls/wkt Run rate Sixes 6/Mat
2009 30 17.77 18.05 5.91 53 1.8
2010 42 16.84 16.53 6.11 89 2.1
2011 32 17.02 17.36 5.88 45 1.4
2012 62 16.94 18.57 5.47 102* 1.6
2013 37 18.73 19.67 5.71 63 1.7
2014 71 18.42 18.90 5.85 138 1.9
2015 30 17.81 18.76 5.70 66 2.2
2016 56 18.86 18.70 6.05 140 2.5
2017 13 17.87 16.57 6.47 42 3.2
2018 30 23.01 20.07 6.88 106 3.5
*ESPNcricinfo and other sources don’t have complete scorecards for two T20Is in 2012.

After a two year wait, women’s T20I cricket returns to England
South Africa’s match vs New Zealand at Taunton on Wednesday afternoon will be the first women’s T20I played in England since 7th July 2016.

In the years since England’s 3-0 whitewash of Pakistan, women’s T20 cricket has transformed out of all recognition.  Increased international contracts, the WBBL (which began in 2015-16) and KSL (2016) all mean that women’s cricket is now a professional sport at the top level.

The T20I run rate in 2018 (6.88 rpo) is currently the highest for a calendar year in which more than 10 matches have been played.

Every major women’s T20I series played since last years ODI World Cup has been among the fastest scoring in history.  The five series with highest run rates in women’s T20I history have each included one or more of the teams taking part in this tri-series.

Highest run rate for a women’s T20I series/tournament:

8.19 rpo IND/AUS/ENG tri-nation series, March 2018
7.87 rpo Ashes T20I series, Nov 2017
7.68 rpo South Africa v India, Feb 2018
7.48 rpo South Africa v England, Feb 2016
7.28 rpo New Zealand v West Indies, March 2018

The number of sixes hit in some recent series have been so great that they exceed totals for previous editions of the World T20, let alone two or three teams series.

In just 5 matches, The South Africa vs India series in February racked up 42 sixes.  By far the highest total for a bilateral series, and the 4th most for any women’s T20I series or tournament, regardless of length or the number of participants.

Most sixes in a women’s T20I series/tournament:

57 – 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh (27 matches)
53 – 2010 World T20 in West Indies (15 matches)
43 – 2016 World T20 in India (23 matches)
42 – South Africa v India, 2018 (5 matches)
30 – IND/AUS/ENG tri-series, 2018 (7 matches)
30 – 2012 World T20 in Sri Lanka (15 matches)
27 – 2009 World T20 in England (15 matches)

The average rate at which sixes have been hit in the history of women’s T20Is is one six for every 108 balls faced.  Since the 2017 World Cup, the rate is now once every 61.56 balls, comparable to the most recent WBBL season (65.39).  During the record-breaking South Africa vs India series in February, batters were hitting sixes once every 24 balls.

The Guardian recently published a list of the world’s top 20 women’s cricketers.  Ten of the names on that list will be taking part in this series, and that doesn’t even include players such as England’s Tammy Beaumont, South Africa’s Chloe Tryon or New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr.

The players taking part in this series have made over a third (15 of 42) of all domestic & international women’s T20 centuries.

Even in light of the spectacular 2017 World Cup, the British public won’t have witnessed a women’s cricket tournament like this before.


A number that might be a counter to all this excitement is the 20.07 balls bowled per wicket in 2018. i.e. despite the massively increased run rate and six hitting, the risk of wickets falling has decreased.

This isn’t the case in women’s ODIs, where the run rate and runs scored per wicket have markedly increased in recent yearsrecent years, but wickets are still falling at the same rate they always have in the 50-over era (roughly once every six overs).


WT20I winloss 2016-19 June 2018

Last 8 results:
England – LWWWWLLL
New Zealand – WWWWWWWW
South Africa – LLLWLWWW

T20I head-to-head record:

England vs New Zealand
Matches 19
ENG wins 14
NZ wins 5

England vs South Africa
Matches 15
ENG wins 13
SA wins 1
No result 1

New Zealand vs South Africa
Matches 5
NZ wins 4
SA wins 1

WT20i winloss 2016 bat 1st

WT20i winloss 2016 field 1st

While the historic head-to-head record (heavily) favours England, this series is likely to be much closer.  New Zealand are the form team in world cricket, and come into this series on the back of an unprecedented run of three consecutive 400+ ODI totals vs Ireland.  South Africa are the outsiders but the ODI series vs England showed the bowling quality and power-hitting they bring to this series.


 

New Zealand flying high as Bates nears record
Since their 2016 World T20 semi-final loss to the West Indies, New Zealand have only lost one T20 international, vs Australia at the MCG on 17th February 2017.  The White Ferns are currently on an 11 match wining streak, the 3rd longest such run in women’s T20Is.  Included in that run is a 4-0 whitewash of the West Indies in New Zealand.

Before their ODI demolition of Ireland, New Zealand also played the Irish in a T20I.  In that game at Dublin on 6th June, the hosts set the White Ferns a target of 137.

Suzie Bates and Jess Watkin blitzed their way 142/0 in 11 overs.  Watkin’s 77* was the 3rd highest score by a T20I debutant, their partnership was New Zealand’s highest in T20Is and their run rate (12.90 rpo), was the highest ever for a completed women’s international innings.

As well as youngsters like Watkin and Kerr, braking new ground, several experienced batters are at the peak of their powers for New Zealand.

Suzie Bates (2,515) is now just 91 runs away from breaking Charlotte Edwards’ (2,605) T20I career runs record.  Bates is the highest run scorer in the KSL (492) and the highest scoring overseas player (964) in the WBBL.  She is the only player to have made centureis in both the WBBL & KSL.

Amy Satterthwaite claimed the player of the season award in WBBL03, an honour which could just as easily have been given to Sophie Devine.

Having supplanted Rachel Priest at the top of the order, Devine has a new-found consistency since the World Cup (3 centuries & 3 fifties in 7 ODIs).  In T20Is Devine’s SR is the 4th highest of any woman to have faced 100+ balls since the start of 2016 (152.17). If she stays in for any length of time today, Devine will likely hit her 50th T20I six, making her just the 2nd woman to that mark.

Priest’s replacement with the gloves, 33 year old Katey Martin made her maiden T20I fifty against the West Indies in March.  An innings later she made her 2nd, and two innings after that, her 3rd.

No-one has taken more T20I wickets since the start of 2016 than Leigh Kasperek (31).  Holly Huddlestone and Lea Tahuhu will be important, but expect Kasperek and Amelia Kerr (whose economy of 4.58 rpo is exceptional, given current run rates) to be New Zealand’s main threats with the ball in this series.

New Zealand (5.78 rpo) are the only side with a collective economy rate below six runs an over since the start of 2016.


As in ODIs, England are unrecognisable since Mark Robinson took charge at the start of 2016.  Only New Zealand have a better T20I win/loos record in that time, and England’s run rate (7.46 rpo) is the highest of any team.  It’s needed to be though, as their economy rate is the second worst (6.89 rpo), behind only Ireland.

A large part of that ER is down to England conceding 7.46 rpo when fielding first.  Despite this, England have the best win/loss ratio among chasing sides since the start of 2016.

Danni Wyatt’s maiden hundred, at Manuka Oval in November was the first ever in a  women’s T20I chase.  She followed that with 124 vs India at Mumbai in March as England completed a women’s T20I record chase of 199.

Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont now have 10 T20I sixes each.  Nothing compared with the likes of Devine, Dottin, Lee or Tryon but still something of a significant milestone.  Those 10 sixes mean they’re currently level with Charlotte Edwards on the most T20I career sixes for England.  This series is sure to see them break that symbolic barrier.

After taking an inexperienced squad to India, England will be fielding their full-strength T20I XI for the first time since the Ashes, which should make up for some of the deficiencies experienced in that series.  After their record chase, England went on to lose their remaining three fixtures.

England’s top three batters in that series (Wyatt, Beaumont and Natalie Sciver) were as strong as their Australian counterparts but the rest of batting order fell well short:

England’s top 3 run-scorers (Wyatt, Sciver & Beaumont):
488 off 321 (SR 152.02 or 9.12 rpo)

Rest of England squad:
188 off 233 (SR 80.69 or 4.84 rpo)

Australia’s top 3 run-scorers (Lanning, Villani & Mooney):
452 off 313 (SR 144.41 or 8.66 rpo)

Rest of Australia squad:
323 off 228 (SR 141.66 or 8.50 rpo)

The return of Sarah Taylor and Katherine Brunt with the bat should go some way to improving those figures.  Likewise, Brunt and Shrubsole’s return with the ball will be welcome after some fairly toothless bowling displays in the Indian series.


South Africa are the wildcard.  Their historic and recent record suggests an England/New Zealand final, but they have some of the most exciting individual players in world cricket, who could take games away on their own.

Shanbim Ismail is the world’s fastest bowler, and in Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk they have two key members of the all-conquering Sydney Sixers WBBL squads.  Among bowlers to have delivered 10+ overs, Kapp has the best career economy rate (4.66 rpo) in the WBBL (Brunt incidentally is 2nd, with 5.15 rpo) and has been going at 5.48 rpo in T20Is since the start of 2016.

Van Niekerk was the 3rd highest wicket taker in WBBL03 (20 wickets), despite not playing the whole season due to international commitments.

Not even Sophie Devine can match the rate at which Chloe Tryon currently hits sixes (11.58 balls per six since the start of 2016).  By that measure, Lizelle Lee is in 4th place (22.27) and captain Van Niekerk is in 9th (37.08).

Tryon’s innings strike rate of 457.14 for her 32* (7) vs India at Senwes Park in February is the highest ever SR for a 25+ run score in women’s or men’s T20 international cricket.

WT20I Bp6

While their boundary hitting is spectacular, South Africa’s running leaves a lot to be desired, and they haven’t settled on a best XI or consistent batting order.

All of Lee’s hitting power amounts to a career T20I SR of 97.15 (rising to a decent, but not spectacular 110.77 since the start of 2016).  Despite the presence of Lee & Tryon in their ranks, South Africa have only posted 150+ totals three times since the start of 2016 and have a high total of 169 in that period.

Teenage batting sensation, Laura Wolvaardt has yet to shine in T20 cricket at domestic or international level.


SQUADS

New Zealand: Suzie Bates (c), Bernadine Bezuidenhout (wk), Sophie Devine, Kate Ebrahim, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin

South Africa: Dane van Niekerk (c), Lizelle Lee (wk), Chloe Tryon, Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Suné Luus, Laura Wolvaardt, Andrie Steyn, Zintle Mali, Tazmin Brits, Stacey Lackay.

England: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Tash Farrant, Jenny Gunn, Danielle Hazell, Amy Jones (wk), Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Nat Sciver, Sarah Taylor (wk), Danni Wyatt.
To join the squad for the June 24 match: Katie George, Lauren Winfield.

 

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England v South Africa – 3rd ODI preview

ICC Women’s Championship standings 

Team Mat Won Lost Tied NR Net RR Pts
New Zealand 6 5 1 0 0 1.489 10
Australia 6 5 1 0 0 1.105 10
Pakistan 6 4 2 0 0 0.581 8
West Indies 6 3 3 0 0 -0.616 6
India 6 2 4 0 0 0.066 4
England 5 2 3 0 0 -0.084 4
South Africa 5 2 3 0 0 -1.240 4
Sri Lanka 6 0 6 0 0 -1.35 0

With the series level at 1-1 going into today’s 3rd ODI at Canterbury, England have a ninth straight bilateral series win against South Africa in their sights, while the Proteas are eyeing a historic first series win vs England.

Bilateral ODI series between England & South Africa:

ENG 2-1 SA, 1997 in England
ENG 3-2 SA, 2000 in England
ENG 2-1 SA, 2003 in England
ENG 4-1 SA, 2004 in South Africa
ENG 2-0 SA, 2005 in South Africa
ENG 4-0 SA, 2008 in England
ENG 3-0 SA, 2011 in South Africa
ENG 2-1 SA, 2016 in South Africa
ENG 1-1 SA, 2018 in England*

This will be the first women’s ODI to be played at Canterbury since 6th August 2008.  South Africa were England’s opponent on that occasion too, and will now have taken part in three of the five women’s ODIs played at the St. Lawrence Ground.

Women’s ODIs at Canterbury:
Australia bt England by 87 runs, 1st August 1976
England bt Australia by 6 wickets, 25th July 1987
South Africa bt England by 1 wicket, 25th June 2000
England bt South Africa by 121 runs, 6th August 2008

None of the South African XI that turned out in 2008 have made this series, whereas there are three members of the England lineup from 2008 who could feature today –  Katherine Brunt, Jenny Gunn and Sarah Taylor.

Taylor is set to play her 108th match as designated wicket-keeper today, which would equal the women’s ODI record, currently held by her predecessor as England keeper, Jane Smit.

Her counterpart, Lizelle Lee may not have impressed with the gloves in this series, but her 209 runs are already the most scored for South Africa in a three-match ODI series.

60 more runs will give Lee the national record for a bilateral series of any length.  The outright record for a three-match women’s ODI series (342) is held jointly by Tammy Beaumont (vs Pakistan in 2016) and Amelia Kerr, thanks to her record breaking exploits in Ireland this week.

Most runs for South Africa in a bilateral ODI series:
268 L Lee v BAN, 2017 (5 ODIs)
244 L Lee v BAN, 2018 (5 ODIs)
232 M du Preez v NZ, 2016 (7 ODIs)
222 D van Niekerk v NZ, 2016 (7 ODIs)
215 L Wolvaardt v IRE, 2016 (4 ODIs)
209 L Lee v ENG, 2018*

Since the start of 2016, England and South Africa have been among the the most difficult sides to make women’s ODI centuries against, which makes Beaumont (101), Taylor (118) & Lee’s (117) efforts at Hove all the more remarkable.

Since the start of 2016, top-seven batters (there has never been a women’s ODI century made batting below #7) have averaged a century once every 60.3 innings vs South Africa, and just once every 215 innings vs England.  Lee’s innings makes the conversion rate against England in that time 2.78%.

WODI centuries 2016

As well as being the first ODI century for South Africa vs England, Lee’s innings made her the first ODI centurion for any side against England since Meg Lanning made 104 in the 2nd Ashes ODI at Bristol on 23rd July 2015.

There may be some concern for South Africa though, that they are over-reliant on Lee and big-hitting Chloe Tryon to maintain a competitive run-rate.

At Hove, Tryon (169.23) and Lee (109.34) were the only South Africans to strike at over 100.  Marizanne Kapp (96.66) was the only one of the remaining nine South African batters with a match strike rate over 60.  By contrast, Amy Jones (76.31) and Tammy Beaumont (92.66), were the only English batters who didn’t strike at over 100 at Hove.

South Africa 2nd ODI at Hove:

Lee & Tryon 161 runs off 133 balls at 7.26 rpo (16×4, 9×6)

Rest of South Africa 91 runs off 167 balls at 3.27 rpo (4×4, 1×6)

Even during their comfortable 5-0 whitewash of Bangladesh last month, Tryon (141.05) and Lee (80.52) were the only players to maintain series strike rates over 80 (min. 25 BF).

The average batting SR in women’s ODIs since the start of 2016 has been 69.30.  Fourteen English players have scored above that rate during that time, while only five South Africans have done the same.

South Africa’s vaunted pace attack means it’s not a case of nullify Lee & Tryon and win the game, but that would clearly be a big step in the right direction.  Unfortunately for England, they appear to be getting worse at containing the duo, rather than better.

Lee’s five 50+ scores in her last six innings vs England (including the two highest scores for South Africa vs England in the last two) are well documented, but Tryon too has overcome a less than stellar start, and become increasingly dangerous.

Tryon’s first four ODI innings vs England resulted in four ducks, and she didn’t reach double figures against England until her 7th ODI against them, at Bristol during the World Cup.  Tryon followed her 54 (26) on that day with 44 (26), two innings later, at Hove on Tuesday.Lee & Tryon v ENG

Among batters with 1,000+ ODI career runs there is only one woman with a higher SR than Tryon (97.43), England’s Natalie Sciver (101.66).

Lee (54) and Tryon (40) have hit the most sixes in women’s ODIs since the start of 2016, perhaps to be expected given South Africa have played so many more fixtures than any other side.  Even when measuring in terms of balls faced per six hit, they still top the charts.

WODI bp6

While England are yet to uncover an individual equivalent to Tryon, Lee or New Zealand’s Sophie Devine, as a batting unit, they have dramatically improved at clearing the ropes since Mark Robinson took charge.

In the period after the 2013 World Cup until the end of 2015 (the era during which Paul Shaw was England’s Head of Performance), England hit just six ODI sixes.  The rate at which they hit them (one six every 883 balls faced) was 500 balls worse than the average rate in women’s ODIs for the time-frame (once every 383).

WODI six rate

Since the start of 2016, when Robinson’s tenure began, the average rate in ODIs has virtually doubled (one six every 192 balls faced).  England have not just kept up with the pace, but been among the pace-setters.  Only South Africa (one six every 119 balls faced) have hit sixes more regularly than England (139).

An indication of how much of this change has been down to mindset and fitness/training, lies in the fact that all twelve English players who have hit sixes in the Robinson-era debuted before he took charge.


Landmarks to look out for:

Mignon du Preez needs 66 runs to become the first South African woman to 3,000 ODI runs.

Marizanne Kapp is two wickets away from becoming the second South African, and 9th woman overall to score 1,000+ runs & take 100+ wickets in ODIs.

Laura Wolvaardt needs one more half-century to break the record for most 50+ women’s ODI scores made as a teenager.  She currently shares the record with Stafanie Taylor, who began her career with eleven 50+ scores before she turned 20.


ICC WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
England vs South Africa

3rd ODI at Canterbury, 15th June 2018

GROUND RECORDS:

Highest total
254/6 (ENG) v South Africa, 6th August 2008
High score
106 L Hill (AUS) v England, 1st August 1976
Best bowling figures
4-47 KM Leng (ENG) v South Africa, 25th June 2000

SQUADS

England: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Nat Sciver, Sarah Taylor, Danni Wyatt

South Africa: Dane van Niekerk(c), Tazmin Brits,  Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Stacey Lackay, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Zintle Mali, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Mignon du Preez, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon, Laura Wolvaardt

New Zealand vs West Indies – T20I series preview

Following on from an increasingly uneven series of ODIs that resulted in a 3-0 win for New Zealand, the five match T20I series should be a more competitive affair.

New Zealand and the West Indies have two of the strongest T20I records in the post-WBBL era (2016- present).WT20I winloss 2016-13 Mar 2018

West Indies have never won a T20I (or any other international match) in New Zealand, but the 2016 World T20 Champions begin the series on a run of nine consecutive wins, the 3rd longest such run in women’s T20Is.  New Zealand have won their last six matches, their second longest T20I winning streak.

Neither team were troubled by their most recent T20I series, against the 7th & 8th ranked sides in the world, towards the end of last year:

The West Indies brushed aside Sri Lanka 3-0 in a series of T20Is at Coolidge in October.  Legspinner Afy Fletcher took her career best figures (5-13) in the 2nd match of the series and Deandra Dottin’s 112 in the 3rd match made her the first woman to score two T20I centuries.

New Zealand whitewashed Pakistan 4-0 at Sharjah in November, having made heavy work of the preceding ODI series.  Sophie Devine (158) and Suzie Bates (123) dominated the series run-scoring charts, while medium-pacer Hannah Rowe took the most wickets (6), despite only playing two games.


West Indies captain, Stafanie Taylor is the highest run scorer in T20Is since the start of 2016 (600 runs; ave 42.85; SR 104.52) and her opposite number, Suzie Bates is 3rd (534 runs; ave 35.60; SR 107.22).

Both Taylor (2,474) and Bates (2,337) are within touching distance of Charlotte Edwards’ T20I career runs record (2,605).  Deandra Dottin needs 41 more to become the 5th woman to bring up 2,000 T20I runs.

Dottin and Sophie Devine remain among the most devastating six hitters in world cricket.

T20I balls faced per six since start of 2016 (5+ sixes hit):
10.64 Chloe Tryon SA (11 sixes)
18.27 Sophie Devine NZ (11)
20.50 Lizelle Lee SA (14)
23.68 Harmanpreet Kaur IND (19)
26.42 Deandra Dottin WI (12)

Average rate of balls faced per T20I  six since the start of 2016: 74.58

Devine (147.26) and Dottin (131.86) are also 3rd and 5th respectively in terms of T20I strike rate (100+ balls faced) since the start of 2016.  The average batting SR since the start of 2016 is 98.28.

West Indies average the most runs per wicket (24.93) at the 2nd highest run rate (6.76 rpo) among batting sides since the start of 2016.  The average run rate for the period is 6.22 rpo.

While both teams have their share of powerful batters, they also stand out with the ball.  New Zealand (14.02 at 5.56 rpo) and West Indies (16.62 at 5.86 rpo) are respectively 1st & 2nd in terms of both fewest runs conceded per wicket, and the best overall economy rate as bowling sides since the start of 2016.

New Zealand’s squad contains 3 of the 5 most economical bowlers in T20Is (100+ balls bowled) since the start of 2016, in legspinner Amelia Kerr (4.15 rpo) and pace bowlers Holly Huddlestone (4.42) and Lea Tahuhu (4.75).  The average ER for the period is 6.11 rpo.

New Zealand’s Leigh Kasperek (12.27) and Sophie Devine (13.58) feature at 2nd & 3rd in the bowling averages (10+ wickets taken since the start of 2016), closely followed by West Indies’ Afy Fletcher (13.83), Hayley Matthews (14.35) and Deandra Dottin (14.56) in 4th, 5th & 6th.


West Indies ‘big three’ (Stafanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews) dominate the ICC’s player rankings.  Taylor and Matthews are ranked #1 in batting and bowling respectively, while Matthews, Taylor and Dottin together account for the top 3 spots in the T20I all-rounder rankings.

There may be some concern that none of those three had vintage years with the bat in the most recent WBBL season.  Matthews, Taylor and Dottin didn’t make a half-century between them in WBBL03 and they all finished the season with batting strike rates below the season average (104.88).

Several New Zealand players involved in WBBL03 on the other hand, had great success.  Suzie Bates (5th with 434 runs) Amy Satterthwaite (8th, 368) and Sophie Devine (9th, 355) all finished among the top 10 run-scorers, and all three had above average strike rates.  Devine’s 17 sixes took her WBBL career tally to 40, the highest for any player.  Bates’ 964 WBBL career runs are the most by an overseas player and 10th most overall.

NZ&WI in WBBL03 batting

New Zealanders have been among the most successful overseas batters in the WBBL. Satterthwaite has the 11th most career runs (929), former White Fern, Sara McGlashan is 12th (854), Devine 13th (849), Stafanie Taylor is the highest ranked West Indian in 14th (829), and Rachel Priest is 15th (776).

Wicketkeeper Priest can count herself unlucky that she has recently fallen out of favour for international selection.  Priest finished WBBL03 with her best runs total for a WBBL season (264), and also had the highest batting strike rate of any New Zealand players involved in the tournament this season (118.92).  Priest also topped the charts for runs, strike rate, boundaries and fifties in the KSL in England in 2017, and made the most keeping dismissals in New Zealand’s 2017/18 domestic T20 competition, despite only playing six matches.

Sophie Devine had a stellar season with the ball in WBBL03, finishing as Adelaide Strikers’ equal highest wicket taker.  Devine’s 17 wickets were the 4th most taken in WBBL03.  Lea Tahuhu was Melbourne Renegades’ top wicket taker (16) and 8th overall for the season.  Her Renegades teammate, Hayley Jensen took 15 wickets, resulting in an international recall.  Their captain, Amy Satterthwaite’s 11 wickets combined with her 368 runs earned her player of the tournament.

NZ&WI in WBBL03 bowling

Stafanie Taylor had another good season with the ball for Sydney Thunder (15 wickets), mitigating for her disappointing run with the bat.  Her 4-15 vs Hobart Hurricanes were the 3rd best bowling figures in WBBL03.  Deandra Dottin was solid, if not particularly prolific with the ball for Brisbane Heat, while Hayley Matthews had a difficult season for last-placed Hobart Hurricanes, though she did improve as the season progressed.


Women’s T20I series – New Zealand vs West Indies

Overall record
Matches: 14
New Zealand wins: 8
West Indies wins: 4
Ties: 1
n/r: 1

Most recent results:
NZ won by 32 runs at Queen’s Park, Invercargill, 1 March 2014
NZ won by 24 runs at Queen’s Park, Invercargill, 5 March 2014
NZ won by 8 wickets at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, 8 March 2014
NZ won by 34 runs at Bay Oval No 2, Mount Maunganui, 9 March 2014
NZ won by 7 wickets at Arnos Vale, Kingstown, 23 Sep 2014
WI won by 7 wickets at Arnos Vale, Kingstown, 25 Sep 2014
Match tied at Arnos Vale, Kingstown, 27 Sep 2014
WI won by 6 runs at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, 31 March 2016 (World T20)


FIXTURES

14th March – 1st T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
16th March – 2nd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
20th March – 3rd T20I at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
22nd March – 4th T20I at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
25th March – 5th T20I at Seddon Park, Hamilton


SQUADS

New Zealand: Suzie Bates (c), Amy Satterthwaite (vc), Sophie Devine, Natalie Dodd, Maddy Green, Kate Heffernan, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu

West Indies: Stafanie Taylor (c), Anisa Mohammed (vc), Merissa Aguilleira, Reniece Boyce, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Akeira Peters, Tremayne Smart

 

 

ICC Women’s Championship preview – India vs Australia

Both Australia and India sit on 4 points from 3 games after 2-1 series wins in their opening round of ICC Women’s Championship fixtures. The run rates for Australia’s home series vs England (5.19 rpo) and India’s series in South Africa (4.55 rpo) set the record for bilateral series involving those particular combinations of opponents.  There’s no reason to think this series won’t challenge the combined 4.89 rpo that Australia and India scored at when the Indians toured Australia in 2016.

Australia come into the series on the back of ten bilateral ODI series wins in a row (which no doubt makes their World Cup campaign, between the 9th & 10th series wins, sting a little more).  Against India, Australia have won all six previous bilateral ODI series contested since 1984.

Bilateral ODI series results between India & Australia:
AUS 4-0 IND, 1984 in India
AUS 4-3 IND, 2004 in India
AUS 3-0 IND, 2006 in Australia
AUS 5-0 IND, 2008 in Australia
AUS 3-0 IND, 2012 in India
AUS 2-1 IND, 2016 in Australia

The overall record between the two sides currently stands at 34-9 to Australia, but India have recorded a couple of important victories in recent years.

Last 5 IND/AUS ODIs:
Australia won by 101 runs at Manuka Oval, Canberra, 2 Feb 2016
Australia won 6 wickets at Bellerive Oval, Hobart, 5 Feb 2016
India won by 5 wickets at Bellerive Oval, Hobart, 7 Feb 2016
Australia won by 8 wickets at County Ground, Bristol (World Cup), 12 Jul 2017
India won by 36 runs at County Ground Derby, (World Cup semi-final), 20 Jul 2017

First, India ended a run of six consecutive ODI losses against Australia with a win at Hobart in February 2016.  At the time, this was the highest target India had successfully chased in an ODI (232).  India’s timid display at Bristol in the group stage of the 2017 World Cup suggested Australia still had a significant upper hand in the rivalry, but those thoughts were allayed after the extraordinary semi-final at Derby on 20th July.

Australia’s bowlers had no answer to Hamranpreet Kaur’s storming innings of 171* (115), which took India to the highest ever World Cup total vs Australia 281/4 (despite the match being reduced to 42 overs).

Australia’s last international match in India was their loss to the West Indies in the final of the World T20 on 3rd April 2016.  Their last ODI on Indian soil was their win against the same opponents in the 2013 World Cup final at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, now over five years ago.  That match was marked by one of the great displays of all-round skill and fortitude from Ellyse Perry, battling through an ankle injury.

Perry’s unbeaten fifty partnership for the eighth wicket with captain Jodie Fields took Australia to the highest ever total in a World Cup final, and her opening three overs (3-2-2-3) derailed the West Indian chase before it even had a chance to get going.  Perry’s exceptional final figures of 10-3-19-3 remain the most economical 10 overs bowled in a World Cup knock-out match this century.

The last time India played Australia in a home ODI was 11 months earlier, for a series in March 2012.  The 2nd match of that series was notable for being the last time Australia posted 300 in an ODI.  In the intervening period, Australia have repeatedly expressed a desire to take their scoring to a new level.

Australia remain the most consistent side in terms of 250+ totals (once every 1.93 innings since the start of 2016, the next best is England at once every 3 innings, and the ODI average is 4.57. India are third with a rate of a 250+ total once every 3.56 innings) but have seen several other sides break 300 since they last did.  Australia’s 296/6 in the 2nd Ashes ODI in October was their highest total since the 2012 India series.

300+ ODI totals since Australia last made 300:
4 England; New Zealand
3 South Africa
2 India
1 West Indies


That 2nd ODI on 14th March 2012 also featured another stellar bowling performance from Perry.  Her ODI career best 8.1-3-19-5 are the best ODI figures against India on home soil.

Since that 2013 World Cup ankle injury however, Perry has never quite been as fast or as threatening.  Her heroic World Cup final effort was arguably the last great spell of ODI bowling in her career (Perry was excellent with the ball in the Ashes Tests at Perth in 2014 and Canterbury in 2015).

Perry has of course more than made up for diminished returns with the ball by embarking on an astonishing run of scores with the bat.

Ellyse Perry all-round stats up to & after her last ODI in India (2013 WC final):

Ellyse Perry all-round pre post 2013 WCa.png

When she last played an ODI in India, Perry was one of the world’s great fast bowlers.  She returns to ODI cricket in India as the one of the most consistent batters in World cricket.

In the 2013 World Cup final, Perry came in at #9 and had batted above #7 just once in her 33 previous ODI innings.  In her 38 innings since, Perry has never batted  below #6 and has scored the 3rd most runs (1,932), at comfortably the best batting average (74.30) in women’s ODIs.

The 2017/18 Australian season saw Perry finish as top run scorer in the Ashes, (351 runs) the WBBL (552) and the WNCL (372).  She also won or retained the trophy in all three competitions.

 

For the first time since the 2006/7 Rose Bowl series, Australia will play an ODI series without Alex Blackwell, who announced her retirement last month.  Blackwell’s absence is made up for by the return of Meg Lanning, who missed the 2017/18 Australian season due to a shoulder injury.

Since Lanning debuted in January 2011, the average women’s ODI batter playing at #1-7 in the order has made a century at a rate of one every 52.17 innings.  Lanning’s own rate is one century every 5.72 innings, in other words over nine times better than the average rate.  The next best current international (3+ centuries) during that period is Suzie Bates, at a rate of one century every 10.43 innings.

In run chases, Lanning scores a century once every 4.38 innings, which is over 21 times better than the average rate of 93.64 among #1-7 ODI batters since her debut.  Lanning has scored 8 of the 22 centuries made in ODI chases worldwide since her debut.

Lanning’s average ODI partnership with Ellyse Perry is 109.57, comfortably the highest among any paring to have batted togetehr 5+ times since Lanning’s debut.  Lanning & Perry have made eight century and four fifty partnerships in 18 innings.  They are the only pairing in ODI history to have shared more than one 200+ stand.  In their nine 2nd innings partnerships, Lanning and Perry have failed to reach their fifty partnership just once.

How Australia line-up will be one of the intriguing aspects of this series, with Elyse Villani and Beth Mooney most likely vying for a single spot.  Following the Ashes, Villani is the incumbent but her international returns have never really lived up to expectation.  Mooney’s stronger ODI stats, excellent form in the Ashes T20Is, plus a century in the first warm-up game of this tour may be hard to ignore.

A batter Australia are yet to see the best of in ODIs is Ashleigh Gardner.  Gardner’s clean-striking and devastating power led to a record 21 sixes at a rate of 1 every 11.9 balls-faced during the most recent WBBL season.  If Gardner finds a way to emulate such feats in ODIs, it could well be the key to Australia reaching their desired higher totals.


Smriti Mandhana’s 219 runs in South Africa were the most ever scored for India in a 3 match ODI series.  Mithali Raj, who sets a record every time she scores a run in ODIs, had a disappointing ODI series in South Africa (70 runs at 23.33) but took player of the series in the T20Is that followed.

Raj’s ODI average of 34.51 vs Australia is her lowest for any single opponent, though it rises to 41.62 when playing the Australians in India.  Raj has yet to make an ODI century in 31 attempts vs Australia (her HS is 89), while her younger counterparts Harmamnpreet Kaur, Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana have all reached three figures against the Australians.

Kaur’s 171* in the World Cup semi-final is the 2nd highest ODI score vs Australia, and her average of 56.87 is the highest of any player to have batted 10+ times against Australia.  Lanning is the only member of the Australian squad to have made an ODI century vs India.

Mandhana and Raut will hope their success vs Australia translates to home soil. While captian Raj and vice-captain Kaur have strong ODI records at home and away, the rest of India’s main batters are mostly yet to prove themselves at home.

Mandhana’s 714 runs in 19 innings at 47.60 (SR 91.89, 3×100, 4×50) away compares starkly with a modest 438 in 16 at 23.05 (SR 65.37, 3×50) at home.  Raut and Deepti Sharma’s averages, and especially their strike rates, will have to drastically improve at home if they’re to have a (positive) impact on the series.

India WODI batting home

In part this is due to a lack of opportunity.  India last played a home international fixture 16 months ago, when West indies visited for 3 ODIs & 3 T20Is in November 2016.  The sparse nature of the scheduling means ‘form’ is not something that often has a chance to manifest for more than a couple of weeks in women’s international cricket, which makes the performances of Raj, Perry, Lanning, etc all the more remarkable.


This will be the first International tour of Asia for Australia’s exciting legspinner Amanda-Jade Wellington, as well as offspinner Gardner. They and left-arm orthodox Jess Jonassen will hope Indian conditions prove more favourable than those experienced in the Ashes ODIs.

Australian spinners took 11 wickets at 37.00 and 5.19 rpo during the Ashes, compared with 15 at 19.86 at 4.65 rpo for their pace bowlers.  Overall however, spinners have been the most successful bowlers so far in the the 2017-20 ICC Women’s Championship,

2017-20 ICC Women’s Championship bowlingICCWC bowling

While spin will play a pivotal role in this series, the only bowlers in either squad (with 5+ wickets) to average under 30 against their respective opponents are pace bowlers Shikha Pandey of India (10 wickets at 16.50) and Ellyse Perry of Australia (28 wickets at 18.25).

 


ICC Women’s Championship 2017-20 – India vs Australia 

FIXTURES

12th March – 1st ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara
15th March – 2nd ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara
18th March – 3rd ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara

SQUADS

India: Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram, Sushma Verma, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Sukanya Parida, Pooja Vastrakar, Deepti Sharma

Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington

ICC Women’s Championship preview – New Zealand vs West Indies

Stats derived from ESPNcricinfo statsguru.

The second round of 2017-20 ICC Women’s Championship fixtures begins at Bert Sutcliffe Oval on 4th March, when New Zealand play host to West Indies.

The series will be the first major examination for two sides that disappointed at the 2017 World Cup, both being eliminated before the knock-out stages.

2013 finalists, West Indies could only manage consolation victories vs Sri Lanka and Pakistan during their dismal campaign.  New Zealand were unlucky with the weather (their crucial group match with South Africa was the only game abandoned during the tournament), but came off comfortably second best in their group stage encounters against eventual semi-finalists Australia, England and India.

Since then, the West Indies have brushed aside Sri Lanka 3-0 in an error-strewn series at home in October 2017, and New Zealand have beaten Pakistan 2-1 in the UAE in October/November.

New Zealand’s loss at Sharjah on 5th November was their first defeat in any format against Pakistan.  That result would ordinarily prove costly in what looks set to be a hard fought ICC Women’s Championship, but the White Ferns are fortunate that they have automatically qualified as hosts for the 2021 World Cup.

In ODIs, New Zealand and West Indies have met 16 times. New Zealand have won eight and West Indies seven, with one no result.

The contest has been marked by extreme home advantage, with West Indies winning six of seven meetings in the Caribbean, and the White Ferns winning all three meetings in New Zealand.

Last 8 ODI results between NZ & WI:

NZ won by 9 wickets at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, 2014
NZ won by 94 runs at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, 2014
NZ won by 107 runs at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, 2014
WI won by 5 wickets at Warner Park St Kitts, 2014
WI won by 65 runs at Warner Park St Kitts, 2014
WI won by 8 wickets at Warner Park St Kitts, 2014
WI won by 4 runs at Warner Park St Kitts, 2014
NZ won by 8 wickets at Taunton, 2017 World Cup

This will be West Indies women’s second ever tour of New Zealand. The previous tour, in 2014, finished with series whitewashes for New Zealand in both ODIs (3-0) and T20Is (4-0).

West Indies have won just 2 of their last 11 ODI fixtures away from home, with their only victories in that sequence being their encounters with Pakistan and Sri Lanka during the group stages of the 2017 World Cup.

Since West Indies last visited New Zealand, the White Ferns have won 14 of 21 matches at home, with their only losses coming at the hands of England and Australia.

At neutral venues, specifically their six World Cup meetings, New Zealand have the upper hand over West Indies, 4-1 with one match abandoned during the 2005 World Cup.  The West Indies only victory vs New Zealand in World Cups was in 2013 in India, perhaps not coincidentally in lower, slower conditions that are most akin to their own at home.

West Indies captain, Stafanie Taylor has the most runs (526) and most wickets (21) in NZ/WI ODI contests and also has the highest individual score in these matches (135* at Sabina Park in Oct 2013), although her record in the few matches she’s played in New Zealand (3) is less impressive – 77 runs at 25.66 and 2 wickets at 37.00.

The run rate in women’s ODIs has seen a marked increase over the last few years, in the wake of expanded pools of contracted international players and nascent professional domestic T20 leagues in the form of WBBL and KSL.

Women’s ODI run rate:
2014 – 3.84 rpo (38 matches)
2015 – 3.91 rpo (34 matches)
2016 – 4.33 rpo (57 matches)
2017 – 4.41 rpo (70 matches)
2018 – 4.55 rpo (3 matches)

The ODI playing conditions have also changed since the 2017 World Cup, which may even see run rates escalate further.

As the below tables indicate, not only have West Indies failed to keep pace with the increasing ODI run rates of recent years, they’ve fallen back from the position they were in previously.  West Indies are one of the few batting sides to have a lower run rate, and to average fewer runs per wicket in the 2016-2018 period than they did in 2013-15.  By contrast, New Zealand are one of the sides at the forefront of the batting revolution.


Women’s ODI win/loss record 2013-2015
Average run rate: 3.94 rpo   Average runs per wicket: 23.31

Team Win / Loss W/L Ratio Bat ave RR Bowl ave. ER
AUS 19 / 5 3.800 32.92 4.75 22.67 4.16
ENG 18 / 9 2.000 29.56 4.54 24.17 4.20
SA 18 / 11 1.636 23.45 3.68 18.98 3.58
IND 12 / 8 1.500 26.85 4.02 21.12 3.77
WI 20 / 18 1.111 22.81 4.01 23.07 3.91
NZ 16 / 16 1.000 26.68 4.38 22.85 3.89
PAK 13 / 19 0.684 19.80 3.46 21.82 3.58
SL 6 / 24 0.250 18.20 3.50 32.50 4.49
BAN 2 / 8 0.250 16.75 3.22 26.27 3.77
IRE 0 / 6 0.000 9.90 2.56 28.93 4.56

 

Women’s ODI win/loss record since the start of 2016
Average run rate: 4.38 rpo   Average runs per wicket: 26.89

Team Win / Loss W/L Ratio Bat ave RR Bowl ave. ER
AUS 22 / 6 3.666 39.41 5.22 25.44 4.52
IND 25 / 7 3.571 37.96 4.67 20.58 3.84
ENG 21 / 6 3.500 33.19 5.25 23.10 4.12
NZ 17 / 10 1.700 33.44 5.07 25.19 4.19
SA 23 / 24 0.958 26.82 4.50 26.09 4.29
WI 9 / 12 0.750 20.82 3.75 24.22 4.03
BAN 3 / 8 0.375 16.28 3.04 25.14 4.22
SL 4 / 22 0.181 18.12 3.54 36.08 4.68
PAK 3 / 20 0.150 20.99 3.75 39.35 5.36
IRE 1 / 13 0.076 17.30 3.37 43.39 5.14

Since the start of 2016 (essentially the post-WBBL era), New Zealand’s Amy Satterthwaite has the highest batting average in women’s ODIs (76.41) and only South Africa’s Mignon du Preez (1,361) has scored more runs than Satterthwaite’s 1,299 in that period.  Du Preez has played 47 ODIs to Satterthwaite’s 27.

Satterthwaite is one of six New Zealanders among the top 25 in terms of ODI batting strike rate (200+ BF) since the start of 2016.  Only England, with seven, have more players that highly placed.  The first West Indian on that list is Deandra Dottin in 26th (76.83).  Dottin is the only West Indian with a strike above the ODI average for the period (68.41).

Dottin, who made 104* vs Pakistan at the World Cup, is also the only West Indian to have made an ODI century since the start of 2016.  Stafanie Taylor’s batting average of 34.31 is relatively modest, especially given her career record, but that still makes her West Indies most consistent performer with the bat in that time-frame.  Taylor has more 50+ scores (7) than all her her teammates combined (6) since the start of 2016.

Women;s ODI batting pre&post WBBL

Where West Indies continue to be effective is in their bowling economy rate.  Only India (3.84 rpo) have a better ODI ER than West Indies 4.03 since the start of 2016.  Once again however, West Indies bowlers fare less well away from the Caribbean (ER of 4.42 rpo away vs 3.48 rpo at home).

Among bowlers to have taken 12+ ODI wickets since the start of 2016, New Zealand have three bowlers among the top six in the averages.

Best ODI bowling average since start of 2016 (12+ wickets):

16.74 RS Gayakwad IND (39 wickets)
17.31 LM Kasperek NZ (16)
17.53 HR Huddleston NZ (30)
17.77 S Pandey IND (45)
18.53 HL Ferling AUS (13)
18.92 HM Rowe NZ (13)
19.75 ASS Fletcher WI (24)
19.78 Khadija Tul Kubra BAN (19)
20.14 E Bisht (35)
20.73 SR Taylor (19)

Afy Fletcher, in 7th is the first West Indian on the list, closely followed by Taylor in 10th. Fletcher and Taylor are also among three West Indians to feature in the top 10 for best ODI economy rate since the start of 2016 (although one of them, Shakera Selman is injured so won’t feature in this series).

Best ODI economy rate since the start of 2016 (50+ overs bowled):

2.87 M Joshi IND
3.42 E Bisht IND
3.44 GM Harris AUS
3.47 LA Marsh ENG
3.49 SR Taylor WI
3.53 SC Selman WI
3.57 ASS Fletcher WI
3.59 Poonam Yadav IND
3.61 IMHC Joyce IRE
3.61 DB Sharma IND

A few economical bowlers can only do so much, however.  For West Indies to return to the top ranks of women’s ODI cricket, their batters must adapt to a rapidly evolving game.  There are few places with more favourable conditions to begin that process than New Zealand.

Since the start of 2016, the ODI run rate in New Zealand has been the second highest in the world (4.99 rpo), and wickets have been harder to come by (a cost of 35.93 runs per wicket) than in any other nation.

Women’s ODI run rate by host nation since the start of 2016:

Country ODIs Runs Wkts Balls Ave. RR
AUS 11 5087 160 6112 31.79 4.99
NZ 11 4958 138 5961 35.93 4.99
ENG 33 13753 465 17415 29.58 4.74
SA 23 8996 327 12240 27.51 4.41
IRE 6 1965 82 2802 23.96 4.21
UAE 3 1078 47 1585 22.94 4.08
SL 24 8063 344 12331 23.44 3.92
BAN 5 1652 76 2555 21.74 3.88
IND 6 1920 84 3152 22.86 3.65
WI 8 2519 136 4269 18.52 3.54

Women’s Ashes Preview – ODIs

In the past two years, women’s cricket has experienced a transformation that shows little sign of abating. There have been more matches played in 2016 & 2017 than at any time in ODI history.

At the same time, the first professional domestic T20 leagues have been launched (the WBBL in 2015-16 and the KSL in 2016). Improved contracts are allowing more players than ever to play and train full-time. These factors, coupled with a World Cup played on good surfaces in England, have set the stage for a revolution in ODI batting.

The 2017 Women’s World Cup smashed batting records across the board (everything from tournament run rate, highest partnerships centuries & fifties scored to sixes hit) and the ODI run rate in 2017 (4.38 RPO) is currently the highest ever for a calendar year.

From the end of the 2013 World Cup, until the conclusion of the 2015 Ashes (referred to as the 2013-15 seasons for the rest of this post), the ODI run rate was 3.87 RPO. Since the 2015 Ashes, that has risen to 4.33 RPO. The percentage of runs scored in boundaries has risen from 38.43% in the 2013-2015 seasons to 44.38% since the 2015 Ashes.

For England, this period of rapid change also coincided with the appointment of head coach Mark Robinson, who took over in the wake of their 2015 Ashes loss. He had some difficult decisions to make early in his tenure, but by all accounts, the changes Robinson has made were key to England’s triumph over India at Lord’s on 23rd July.

WODI teams post 2013WC-2015 Ashes

WODI teams since 2015 Ashes

During the 2013-2015 seasons, Australia were the dominant batting unit in world cricket. Their run-rate (4.91 RPO) equated to scoring on average 19 more runs per 50 overs than the next best side. Excluding 2nd placed England (4.52 RPO), Australia’s RR outstripped all others sides by at least 49 runs per 50 over innings.

This advantage has been eliminated since the 2015 Ashes. Australia are still one of the strongest batting units (5.21 RPO to England’s 5.27 and New Zealand’s 5.31)  but no longer an outlier.

Australia scored five of the eleven 250+ totals posted in the 2013-15 seasons, with no other side managing more than two.

WODI innings per 250+ 2013-2015

Since the 2015 Ashes, Australia remain the most consistent side in terms of reaching 250+ (13 times) but they don’t dominate the other teams to the previous extent, and have so far been unable to match the top end scoring displayed by other nations.

WODI innings per 250+ since 2015 Ashes

Australia last scored 300 in an ODI in March 2012. Since then, there have been twelve 300+ totals scored in women’s ODIs, by five different nations.

While England’s run rate (5.27 RPO) and propensity for massive totals have caught the eye (England have scored the four highest ODI totals since the 2015 Ashes), they’ve also dramatically improved as a bowling unit.

Despite the overall increase in ODI run rate, England have actually improved their bowling economy rate since the 2015 Ashes (3.96 RPO) compared with the 2013-2015 seasons (4.23).

This has been down to the successful introduction of new players such as Alex Hartley, but also because of a return to form of several senior players. Brunt, Hazell, Marsh and Shrubsole have all dramatically improved since Robinson took over as coach.

WODI England senior bowlers pre post 2015 Ashes

Australia haven’t managed a similar bowling improvement, so have been drawn back into the pack despite improving their run rate as a batting side.

12 of England’s 2017-18 Ashes squad were members of the defeated squad whose display was so lacklustre in 2015, but their confidence and approach to the game couldn’t be more different.

As the tables below indicate, during the 2013-2015 seasons English players were glaringly short of the other top nations in terms of six hitting.

English batters cleared the rope just six times, at a rate of one every 884 balls faced. The only nations with a worse rate of sixes hit and also fewer different individual six-hitters than England, were Bangladesh, Pakistan and Ireland.

Since the 2015 Ashes, England have been at the forefront of a significant increase in the rate of ODI six-hitting.

WODI sixes pre post 2015 ashes

Australia, like most other nations have massively improved, though not to the same extent as England. English players have gone from collectively hitting sixes at over 530 balls behind the average ODI rate during the 2013-2015 seasons, to hitting them at over 84 balls ahead of the average rate since the 2015 Ashes.

Since the 2015 Ashes, ten different English players have hit an ODI six. There’s clear evidence this improvement is down to mindset and playing environment, in that all ten of those players had played ODIs for England before this period. Only four of them however, (Brunt, Gunn, Shrubsole and Knight) had previously hit a six.

Comparing the list of top six-hitters in the 2013-15 period with the list since the 2015 Ashes illustrates this well. In 2013-15 Katherine Brunt was the highest ranked English player, in 11th place with three sixes.

WODI six hitting 2013-2015 and 2015 to present

Englishwomen now occupy three of the top 10 spots. Those three players had batted 48 (Knight), 16 (Beaumont) and 14 (Sciver) times for England before, but had just one ODI six between them. They now rank 1st, 2nd and 4th on England’s all-time list for ODI career sixes.

England have also had five different ODI centurions since the 2015 Ashes, compared with just two (Edwards and Taylor) during the 2013-2015 seasons. Only their World Cup final opponents, India (with six) have seen more different players bring up three figures in ODIs during that time.

Four Australians have scored centuries since the last Ashes, but they will come into the series without the most prolific of them all, Meg Lanning.

Lanning’s absence from the Ashes will be most keenly felt in the ODI series, particularly in run chases. Australia’s strong record batting 2nd (13 wins and 3 losses since the 2015 Ashes) is built on Lanning’s extraordinary prowess in ODI chases.

With eight centuries in just 35 career chases, Lanning has twice as many as the next woman on the list and has made an absurd 22.86% of all the 2nd innings centuries ever scored (35) in the 44 year history of women’s ODIs.

Australia have therefore been comfortable choosing to field in recent times (they have fielded first 8 out of 17 times when wining the toss since the 2015 Ashes) but that may change without Lanning.

England have chosen to bat first 9 out of 12 times when winning the toss since the last Ashes. That’s not a surprise given their extremely strong record batting first – 12 wins and one loss, plus the highest 1st innings average total (280.85) during that period.

Lanning isn’t the be-all and end-all. Australia have always had an exceptional record chasing, especially at home. That said, England’s capacity for chasing is one of the few unproven areas of their game since Robinson took charge. With an 8/3 win/loss record and a highest score of 246 batting 2nd (their loss to India in the opening match of the World Cup), they have yet to convince in the same manner as when they bat first.

WODI win loss since 2015 Ashes bat 1st

WODI win loss since 2015 Ashes field 1st

As well as missing Lanning’s individual runs and her captaincy, Australia will have to make do without her ultra-reliable partnership with Ellyse Perry (1,534 runs at 5.24 RPO and an average of 109.57).

Australia’s next most prolific pairing is Alex Blackwell & Perry (1,415 runs; 5.10 RPO; average 61.52). It would seem to make sense for Perry and Blackwell, also domestic teammates for NSW, to follow each other in the batting order, but that hasn’t been the case recently for Australia.

Among ODI partnerships that have faced 50+ overs since the 2015 Ashes, England’s Beaumont & Sciver (371 runs; 7.15 RPO; ave 74.00) have the 7th highest average and the highest run rate.

Beaumont and Lauren Winfield (913 runs; 4.76 RPO; ave 50.72) need 87 more runs together to be the first England opening pair to bring up 1,000 ODI runs since Sarah Taylor and Caroline Atkins in 2009.

A slight question mark hangs over the England batting line-up’s record in Australia. A number of key players either haven’t played an ODI in Australia (Beaumont, Winfield, Wilson) or don’t have particularly impressive records batting there in the past.

Heather Knight, Sarah Taylor and Natalie Sciver are the only members of the Ashes squad with ODI fifties in Australia. No Englishwoman has ever made an ODI hundred against the Australians in Australia.

Only Lanning has scored more ODI centuries in Australia (4) than Australia vice-captain Alex Blackwell (3). During the 2013/14 Ashes series in Australia, Blackwell scored a half century in each ODI. In home ODIs against England over the course of her career, Blackwell averages 57.86 with one century and four fifties in ten innings.

Among women who have played 10+ ODI innings in Australia, Ellyse Perry has the 2nd highest batting average (58.10) behind only Lindsay Reeler (70.50). Reeler incidentally, was the fastest woman, in terms of innings batted (23) to bring up 1,000 ODI runs.

Even without Lanning (3rd highest average in Australia – 56.12), several members of Australia’s Ashes squad feature prominently: Nicole Bolton is ranked 7th (49.06); Blackwell 10th (44.57) and stand-in captain Rachael Haynes 11th (39.87).

Less happy reading for Australia are the home records of Beth Mooney (ave 17.00), Elyse Villani (13.44) and Alyssa Healy (11.86). The Ashes may be a final reckoning for Villani as an ODI player, with three half centuries in 25 innings, she has yet to show the form she does at domestic level.

WODI ODI runs scored in Australia

In truth, there’s not much to choose between the two batting units but the presence of Knight and Sciver in England’s top five is what gives their bowling attack much greater balance. England can take the field with a possible seven bowling options, mitigating against any one (or two) players having a bad day.

Australia have struggled to fill their 50 overs to such an extent that they’ve resorted to bowling Villani and even on one occasion, Nicole Bolton. This puts enormous pressure on their frontline quartet of Perry, Schutt, Jonassen and Beams.

Ashleigh Gardner has performed well with the ball since debuting earlier this year, but beyond her the options are either unproven or ineffective.

Among ODI bowlers who have bowled 25+ overs since the last Ashes, Villani has the 5th worst economy rate in world cricket (5.95 RPO). On the same scale, England’s Laura Marsh (3.41) and Katherine Brunt (3.45) have respectively been the 6th and 8th most economical bowlers. Hartley (3.90) has also been impressive.

While she didn’t feature in the 2013/14 Ashes, Marsh’s 25 ODI wickets in Australia (including 16 at the 2009 World Cup) make her the 2nd most successful overseas bowler on Australian soil, behind New Zealand’s Aimee Watkins.

WODI most wickets taken by overseas players in AUS

Among ODI bowlers with 20+ ODI wickets in Australia, Marsh has the 4th lowest bowling average (16.52) and is the only active player in the top 10.

WODI best bowling ave ODIs in AUS (20+ wkts taken)

Perry (21.77) is the first current Australian player on the list at 11th. Perry has taken more ODI wickets in Australia (74) than any other player. The next highest current internationals on the list are Jonassen (with 27) and Marsh (25).

WODI most wickets taken in AUS

With Australia the holders, the Ashes points system requires England to win at least one of the limited overs series if they are to regain the trophy. Australia have never lost a bilateral ODI series at home to England.

Two rained off warm-ups games have complicated England’s preparations but the World Champions deserve their favourites tag for the ODI series. Lanning’s injury, combined with other selection issues give the visitors the slight edge.


 

ODI runs since the 2015 Ashes:

Australia          England

ODI wickets since the 2015 Ashes: 

Australia          England