England coach Mark Robinson has challenged the next generation of players to make a mark on the tour to India later this month which is the next step on the road to the women’s World Twenty20 in November.
England named a 16-player squad on Wednesday with experienced duo Sarah Taylor and Katherine Brunt missing the trip. Brunt has a back injury and Taylor is resting.
Robinson named three uncapped players - Bryony Smith, Alice Davidson-Richards and Katie George - for the tour which includes a Twenty20 tri-series with India and Australia starting in Mumbai on March 22 before three ODIs against India, the team England beat in the World Cup final last year.
Taylor took a year-long break to deal with anxiety issues but returned to the side for the World Cup triumph last year. Robinson confirmed this tour had always been earmarked as a chance for her to have some time off.
The coach is looking to widen his pool of players with an eye on the World Twenty20 in West Indies in November. This is the second half of England’s winter after losing the Ashes in Australia before Christmas and Robinson believes the team needs to improve their Twenty20 skills to have a chance in the Caribbean.
Katherine Brunt of England celebrtaes a wicket with team mates during the second Women's Twenty20 match between Australia and England
Mark Robinson believes England need to improve at T20 CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
“We have to look at improving our T20 skills. The youngsters are here to wake a few people up,” said Robinson. “What we are doing at the moment is not going to win us a World Cup and we have to change that. We have picked the younger players so we are not turning out the same old players and then suddenly getting stuck when things go wrong.
“We have to broaden our talent pool. Australia have 92 pros, we have 18. We have to improve our depth and get players up and running. Someone like Katie George can bowl at a good pace, she can bat and she can field well. She will potentially be our allrounder so we are giving her some experience. Our numbers batting wise in Twenty20 are not great, Bryony can give it a good hit and she has potential and nobody has performed at the top of the order so she puts herself in the frame as opener. We need more power down the order at seven and eight. Alice can add some power down there and she can bowl. I expect them to be consistent, make mistakes but be brave.”
Heather Knight (capt), Tammy Beaumont, Kate Cross, Alice Davidson-Richards, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Katie George, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Amy Jones (wk), Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Bryony Smith, Fran Wilson, Danni Wyatt.