It is both quite funny and lamentable that the moment you type in the phrase ‘Ashes Test’ in your Google search, the result throws upon a throng of articles and content pertaining to the men’s Ashes series that is yet to begin.
Furthermore, some epic literature pertaining to the first Ashes Series details information going way back into time; of the 1870s and 1880s but no mention is sadly directed to the first of its kind Ashes series between England Women’s and Australia Women’s cricket team.
Of course, you don’t need to be told and retold about what’s slated to transpire on November 23, 2017. But, about to undergo live in the next few hours, the seconds diminishing quicker than your blinking eyes is an epic battle between England and Australia and guess what, it’s no longer just about the men or the Ashes they promise to turn either sides into.
Amidst balmy settings, England Women’s captain Heather Knight and Australia Women’s captain Rachel Haynes posed with glittering smiles holding the Women’s Ashes trophy. It helped that the plush green settings at the North Sydney Oval added to the vibe of the contest- exciting and thrilling. Guess what, the buzz among the media and in the ground wasn’t about a Steven Smith or Joe Root on this occasion.
An interesting feature of the day and night Ashes Test, the first in the history of the women’s game, is the near perfect balance that either sides have stuck to in their attempts to take the Mickey out of one another. No longer just a promising, handy batswomen side, Australia are relishing the arrival of new pace-bowling recruit Megan Schutt, their latest selection for the milestone Women’s Ashes Test. Meanwhile, Rachel Haynes, the captain of Australia Women’s Test side, in a bid to distance any kind of hype from her and her camp has promised to play good, hard cricket preferring to lay focus on doing the ‘basics’ right in this Test of epic proportions.
England Women’s team, on the other hand, are looking at the day-and-night Ashes Test as a checkered opportunity to stake a claim to the revered urn that currently sits in Australia Womens’ camp. Having begun the tour to Australia on a bright, positive note, in-form batswoman Lauren Winfield who struck a breezy 82 versus Cricket Australia XI is expected to continue top form heading into the Test at Sydney.
This being a Pink-ball content will feature eminent bowling exponents from either sides with explosive left-handed batswoman Rachel Haynes speaking highly of 5 uncapped Test players who will be keen to make it count at the highest level, with Australia vesting faith in the spinners of Amanda Jade Wellington.
This isn’t to say that for a large part of the previous week the talking point across Australia wasn’t the somewhat debatable omission of Kristen Beams, inarguably their most successful and promising spinner in the entire contingent- also the leading wicket-taker in the world cup- who has now been replaced by 20-year-old Wellington, who, from 10 ODIs so far has picked up 9 scalps in a career that has only just begun.
On the other hand, Heather Knight’s England are bolstered by the presence of threatening batting talents of Sarah Taylor and Natalie Sciver- all season warriors- who will be depending on new bowling finds- Kate Cross and Tash Farrant to add bite to their bowling attack versus the Aussies.
But preferring to keep mum on the hype of the one of a kind contest, ethereal for some and legendary for others, featuring the pink ball under glowing floodlights, English captain Heather Knight opted to keep it simple ahead of the Test, suggesting none of the sides had played with the pink ball or too many Tests either in the recent past.
But of course, what might stand out would be the cunning and guile of newbies like Megan Schutt, who, it is believed, has been threatening getting prodigious swing in the just-concluded warm up matches.
Are you excited now? Turn over, flip the channel and get straight to the live Ashes proceedings. England are batting first. Who knows which side would drub the other into Ashes?