Following Australia’s 3-0 whitewash of England in the ODI-leg of the Ashes series, Megan Schutt reclaimed the no.1 ranking in ICC’s list of ODI bowlers. The right-arm seamer dethroned Jhulan Goswami, the veteran fast-bowler from India, to register a career high 762 points.
“I didn’t really know till I got tagged on Twitter to be honest,” Schutt told cricket.com.au ahead of Australia’s first training session in Taunton on Tuesday (July 16). “Obviously heading into a Test it doesn’t mean too much at the end of the day.”
Schutt has made a successful start to the multi-format series so far, picking up five wickets at an average of 14 through the ODIs. Most impressively, she had a series economy rate of 2.60— the least for any bowler in the series by quite a distance. She got the new ball to hoop around and used the cross seam deliveries and cutters to good effect at the back end of the innings. Heading into the Test match, one would think those numbers (and rhythm) bode well. Schutt however, disagrees.
“(I’m) Not 100% pleased to be honest. I think there’s a few things I could be working on but it’s coming out okay, and I guess at the end of the day if we are winning that’s all really matters.”
Schutt went wicketless during Australia’s 240-run demolition of England Academy in their three-day tour match at Marlborough College in Swindon. She bowled 16 overs for 47 runs across two innings and was clearly nowhere near her best.
“I think for me, consistency with the red ball (is key). I kind of wasn’t 100% pleased with how I bowled in the three-day match. I guess I’ve got to learn to be a bit more boring. I think I’m not the most patient person in life in general— it’s probably why the T20 format suits me better— but I think a Test match is a real test for me and I guess that’ll be what I am training out here today.”
Despite having taken a six point lead in the series, Schutt insists that Australia are not going to back off just yet. On the “special” and “rare occasion” of getting to pull on the Baggy Green, she believes that the team will not be happy to play out a draw in order to secure the series.
“I don’t think we’d be very content with a draw to be honest. I think no matter what both teams are going to come out pretty hard. (With rain about) I think we will be a little more aggressive with the ball, but I think both teams want a result out of this, so I think there’ll be some pretty good cricket.”
With England needing a win in the Test match to stay competitive in the series, the visitors are very aware that they will come hard at Taunton.
“Having played against them before, often when they’ve got their backs against the wall, they really do come out and have a good crack,” Rachael Haynes, Australia’s vice captain, said earlier in the week. “We are expecting nothing less coming into this Test match, we know its going to be a really tough fight.”
Almost echoing her words, on Tuesday, Schutt stated: “We know England, and we know what they are capable of. We have to be ready to counteract that.”