In her latest Player of the match performance against India in the first ODI, Beaumont scored unbeaten 87 and led England to their 100th ODI win at home. Talking to the press after the match she reflected on the most talked-about ‘F’ word in cricket - 'Form'.
“The main thing is that I have stopped believing in form. Once you get to a certain age you have worked on your technique and you know what works. And it’s the case of sticking to it; tinkering with it if something is going wrong. For me, it’s all about your mindset. I have worked on that since before the New Zealand tour. It’s all about how you approach your innings in one day cricket. I am working on being kind of ruthless and relentless as much as possible.”
Beaumont credited England’s team psychologist Phoebe Sanders for this change in approach. “ We have got brilliant psychologist here in Phoebe Sanders. For me, it’s like a chat about how you are is going. The day before the first game in New Zealand, she said to me, 'you have a choice how you go about it.' Ever since her voice is just been in my head. For me, to dominate is to make (bowlers) really work hard to get me out.”
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This change in approach seems to be working well for Beaumont as well as England. They chased the required 202 in just 35 overs losing only two wickets. When asked about that relentless attitude Beaumont said,” I think, it just evolved naturally. We are all kind of maturing as players and working towards how we are going to play that World Cup.”
Beaumont has settled in the role of the opener after batting throughout the line-up in the early stages of her career. She has established herself as a world-class opener over the years. “My role is to bat for as long as possible for the team and certain ball strikers around me can play their natural game at the other end. As long as I am there scoring and not just holding the end. So I try and look to get an 80+ or higher strike rate if possible. At the same time, conditions and wickets do dictate that quite often.”
England will head to New Zealand next year as the defending champions of the World Cup. As a player of the series in the 2017 edition, England will have a lot more riding on Beaumont to continuously make 250+ totals in ODIs. However, Beaumont believes England is not necessarily thinking about putting 250+ beforehand.
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“Sometimes a pitch might be a 300 wicket or even a 230. There have been times where we should have got 250 and we fell short. For us, we kind of talk about little phases of the game that we can try and win. We don’t limit ourselves to 250."
“I think we are quite a mature batting group now. We assess the condition and work out the pitch and go from there. Sometimes 300 might be par on certain wickets and there is nothing to stop our batting to getting that if that’s the condition.”
Before Beaumont scored run-a-ball 87, England’s pace attack proved too good for Indian openers. The ever-reliable Katherine Brunt removed debutante Shafali Verma in the fifth over while Anya Shrubsole’s straight delivery took care of Smriti Mandhana. Indian captain Mithali Raj formed two 50+ partnerships - first with Punam Raut and later with Deepti Sharma - but India managed to score only 201 runs and lost eight wickets in 50 overs.
In awe of England’s bowling attack, Beaumont said, “I have been facing our bowlers in the nets for the whole of pre-season and in Heyhoe-Flint Trophy. I know how well they are bowling. I am not surprised because have been working hard all season. Our entire bowling unit bowled exceptionally well.”
She shared an unbeaten partnership of 119 runs with vice-captain Natalie Sciver. This was the pair’s fourth 100+ partnership in ODIs. Beaumont was all praise for Sciver saying, “Once Nat starts to unleash there is no stopping her. At one point I thought, I wasn’t going to get to face another ball. She was very kind in the end.”
“For me today was all about getting the job done and being not out at the end. If I try and keep up with Nat there is no chance of that. Because she is just an unbelievable talent and my job is slightly different. To make sure I am setting us up to get those big totals and play in a kind of my way.”
England currently leads the multi-format series 4-2 after the drawn test fetched two points to each team. The next day/night ODI will be played at The County Ground in Taunton on June 30.