England v New Zealand: Anya Shrubsole remains sidelined

Venue: Bristol Date: 16 September Time: 13:00 BST
Coverage: In-play clips, radio and text commentary on the BBC Sport website. Highlights available on BBC iPlayer and Red Button after the match.

England will continue to be without bowler Anya Shrubsole for the first two one-day internationals against New Zealand, and could make other changes as they manage players’ workloads, says captain Heather Knight.

The five-match ODI series follows a 2-1 Twenty20 series win for England.

“The ODI series is going to be hard work physically, there’s five games in about 11 days,” said Knight.

“We’ve got to look after our players and make sure we get that right.”

Fast bowler Shrubsole, a World Cup winner with 73 ODI caps, did not feature in the T20 series between the two sides and while Knight is hopeful she will return for the last three ODIs of the summer, she emphasised the importance of resting and rotating players.

Knight, who missed the first two games of the T20 series with a hamstring injury, returned for the final must-win game and top-scored with 42, while fast bowler Katherine Brunt was rested for the second fixture.

“We’ve had a lot of cricket this summer and we’ve got to look after our players physically and mentally – the fast bowlers in particular,” said Knight.

“But confidence is reasonably high. Getting a series win is always a good thing for a side.”

The T20 series wasn’t a straightforward victory for England as New Zealand quickly brushed off their opening match rustiness to win the second followed by a very closely-fought encounter in the third.

England are still favourites heading into the ODI series: New Zealand have played far less cricket in the past 12 months due to Covid-19 restrictions, and England continue to benefit from their new domestic professional set-up.

What did we learn from the T20s?

Both sides have reasons to be confident for the ODIs: England won the T20 series despite not being at their best for two of the three games, while New Zealand will be delighted by their fightback from a dismal first game.

For England, a concern may be how they struggled in the second game without the experienced heads of Knight and Brunt.

Kate Cross has been recalled to the squad, having impressed in the ODIs against India earlier in the summer, and as much international experience as possible for the likes of Freya Davies and Tash Farrant will be crucial if they are needed to step up during the Ashes and 50-over World Cup in 2022.

From New Zealand’s point of view, can they extract consistent contributions from players other than their big three: Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine and Amy Satterthwaite?

The performances of Brooke Halliday and Katey Martin with the bat, and Leigh Kasperek with the ball, were key to the tourists coming so close in that final T20 fixture.

With pace bowler Lea Tahuhu back in the fold as well, if they can continue to chip in around their big names, they will be formidable opponents for England to overcome.

World Cup preparation

The five ODIs are a perfect opportunity for both sides to test players before the 2022 World Cup, which will be hosted by New Zealand in March, and in which England will be the defending champions.

“There is the potential that we’re going to have to rotate players and give people opportunities at certain points,” added Knight.

“It’s finding that balance of wanting to be successful and winning the series against a good New Zealand side but also managing players and looking to the future a bit.”

Sophia Dunkley has done more than enough to cement her position at number six, Farrant’s impressive form in The Hundred showed her vast improvement, while Maia Bouchier and Charlie Dean are proof of England keeping one eye on the future.

Sophia Dunkley
Sophia Dunkley has had a breakthrough summer for England

The key players

  • The all-rounders: Nat Sciver and Sophie Devine are joint top of the ICC world-rankings for all-rounders in T20s, but Sciver wins the battle in ODIs – she is ranked third and Devine ninth.
  • The veterans: During the T20 series, Heather Knight played her 200th international match while Suzie Bates played her 150th. How important will their experience be?
  • The spinners: Sophie Ecclestone is one of England’s most influential players despite being just 22 years old. Her counterpart Leigh Kasperek has only played three ODIs against England, but has taken 10 wickets and also took 3-25 in the final T20.

Heather Knight and Suzie bates graphic

England ODI squad: Heather Knight (capt), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones (wk), Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt.

ODI schedule

  • 16 Sep: 1st ODI, Bristol, 13:00
  • 19 Sep: 2nd ODI, Worcester, 11:00
  • 21 Sep: 3rd ODI, Leicester, 13:00
  • 23 Sep: 4th ODI, Derby, 13:00
  • 26 Sep: 5th ODI, Canterbury, 11:00

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