Mady Villiers earns maiden England call-up

Mady Villiers. ©Getty Images

Mady Villiers earned her maiden call up to the England team for the T20I-leg of the Ashes series beginning on Friday (July 26). The Essex allrounder who put in impressive performances against Australia A through the five-match limited overs series was added to the squad on Tuesday (July 23).

Aside from Villiers, England will go into the must-win three-match series with a tried and tested group of players. Jenny Gunn and Lauren Winfield retain their places while Kirstie Gordon and Linsey Smith, the two left-arm spinners have missed out. Sophia Dunkley, who had a poor series against Australia A, and Bryony Smith, who recently made her ODI debut against West Indies have been dropped.

Having conceded the Ashes after drawing the one-off Test match in Taunton, Heather Knight said her team will be looking to finish the series on a strong note.

“It’s almost like a one-off T20I series and we need to give it everything across these last three matches,” Knight said. “We came back strongly in Australia in 2017 and it would feel very different if we ended up at 8-8. That has to be our aim now and we want to finish strongly.”

Sarah Taylor, who got hit on the shoulder and had to leave the field in the last session of the Test match, has recovered successfully and retained her place in the side despite poor form with the bat. Amy Jones will continue to serve as the back-up wicket-keeper and double up as a top-order batter.

The shortest format also sees the return of Danielle Wyatt, by far England’s best T20I player, to the top of the order. She will most likely join Tammy Beaumont at the top of the order to bolster the hosts’ batting unit that also consists of Knight, Natalie Sciver, Jones, Taylor, Winfield and Georgia Elwiss.

England’s bowling group, who have shown great consistency through the series, will remain the same with Katherine Brunt, Anya Shrubsole, Kate Cross, Laura Marsh and Sophie Ecclestone in their ranks. Gunn, Sciver and Villiers, the allrounders will bolster an already strong pace unit.

England T20I squad: Heather Knight (captain), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Mady Villiers, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt.