England coach Lisa Keightley blamed the Ashes’ warm-up results on overzealousness after a preparation skipper Heather Knight described as “average” and “comical”.
The England senior side lost back-to-back T20 matches to the secondary England A side at the Philip Oval in Canberra over the weekend – although left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone issued a warning to Australia with numbers of 7-14 – continuing a scrappy Ashes lead – which was hampered by wet weather.
Like the hosts, England struggled to reassess their plans after the schedule for the multi-format series was changed with just three weeks to go until the first game.
The seven-game series has been brought forward by a week, with the T20I stage moved ahead of the single test, to accommodate the need to travel to New Zealand just days after the Ashes to meet the isolation requirements put in place. up to date before the next World Cup.
Combined with the incredibly tight restrictions that have been imposed on both teams – far stricter than those endured by their male counterparts, as anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 within 10 days of leaving the World Cup will miss the tournament – makes this series unique. other.
“I wouldn’t say we started that well, to be quite honest,” Keightley, who has made 92 appearances for Australia, told media on Monday.
“We try to accelerate as best we can.
“We had a bit of rain in Canberra and the practice wickets haven’t been that good, to be honest, as a hitter to feel confident.
“(Hitters) were trying to get in there too soon, they wanted to click, they wanted to get out of it and go really well.
“There’s no doubt the girls know the pressure of an Ashes series, and in the practice matches that have shown that. They want to start well and they’re probably putting a little pressure on themselves right now.
“But you expect that as an international cricketer… I think by the time we get there I’m confident we’ll be in a very good place.”
The England and England A squads – 29 players in total – arrived in Adelaide from Canberra via charter flight on Monday afternoon, along with five Australians – the Sydney-based group consisting of Alyssa Healy, Rachael Haynes , Maitlan Brown, Stella Campbell and assistant Ben Sawyer – in tow.
England, who spent time in camp in Oman before Christmas to buy valuable away training time, have two more hits at Adelaide Oval ahead of Thursday’s T20I opener.
“We have some really big training coming up over the next couple of days that we have to do well, we have to make sure the players are hitting the ball well, and playing in good areas and getting sharp,” said Keightley.
On Friday, captain Heather Knight described England’s preparation as “comical”, referring to the two-week period before they left for Australia where they remained in near total isolation to avoid the virus and called members of their household to feed the bowling alley. machines and make throws in order to practice.
“It hasn’t been ideal, that’s for sure,” Knight said late last week.
“I think the lead for a number of reasons has been pretty average to be honest.
“But it was completely unavoidable… just getting everyone out on the plane was difficult.
“Understanding that and trying to find ways to prepare ourselves, physically and mentally, has been a bit more difficult.
“And then throw COVID in there and also move the World Cup goal posts, and as you can imagine, it’s been pretty hard to focus on cricket at the moment.
“But what we have to do is try to make the most of it…we just have to mentally prepare as much as possible and find a way to bring the team together.
“But I’m confident we’ll make the best of what’s been a bad situation… and maybe that’ll take the pressure off. We’ve got to find a way to break free, go out there and almost just throw Watch out for the wind a bit and let’s see what we can do.”
Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes v England
Australian Ashes team: Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes (vc), Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck
Ashes England squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Maia Bouchier, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Nat Sciver (vc), Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers , Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt
January 20: Premier T20, Adelaide Oval
January 22: Second T20, Adelaide Oval
January 23: Third T20, Adelaide Oval
January 27-30: Test match, Manuka Oval
February 3: First ODI, Manuka Oval
February 6: Second ODI, oval junction
February 8: Third ODI, oval junction
Australia A v England A
Australia A team: Georgia Redmayne (c), Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Nicole Faltum, Tess Flintoff, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Phoebe Litchfield, Katie Mack, Courtney Sippel, Molly Strano, Elyse Villani, Georgia Voll, Courtney Webb, Amanda- Jade Wellington
England A team: Emily Arlott, Lauren Bell, Alice Capsey, Alice Davidson-Richards, Georgia Elwiss, Kirstie Gordon, Eve Jones, Beth Langston, Emma Lamb, Bryony Smith, Ellie Threlkeld, Issy Wong
January 20: Premier T20, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
January the 21st : Second T20, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
January 23: Third T20, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
January 28: First DO, Philip Oval, Canberra
January 30: Second DO, Philip Oval, Canberra
February 2: Third OD, Philip Oval, Canberra