20 April 2019
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Cricket: Isa Guha talks us through the Women’s Ashes series

July 21, 2015
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Isa Guha retired from International Cricket in April 2012 after ten years of playing for England, she now commentates for BBC Radio 5live. Isa spoke to Sportsister on the eve of the Women’s Ashes to explain the format, points system and who to look out for this series.

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How do the Ashes series work for the women?

There are points for every win in the series and then whoever has the most at the end wins the Ashes, so it’s quite simple in that respect.

This series the point scoring has been refined, so there is not so much weighting on the test because previously it was worth 6 points which meant that if you won that you had a massive advantage that was almost impossible to chase, so now it’s worth 4 points.

The other change from previous years is that there is a bit more time between the one-day matches and the test so the teams have a bit more time to prepare. Most women’s cricket is not about 4-day test cricket, so it’s a bit of a different game – this way they will have more time to adapt.

Is there a favourite going into the series?

Not really, I think the series is going to be hotly contested, they are two very well matched teams and amongst the best in the world so it should be exciting.

England have won the last two Ashes but Australia are the current one-day international and Twenty 20 champions, so they have proved they can perform on the global stage well.

All the matches will be hotly contested and even if the series is decided before the end, both teams will want to put on a great show at the last Twenty 20’s and put on a good show.

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How does the play differ between the different styles of matches?

T20 is the shortest match format, it is 20 overs so the whole match lasts about three hours, it’s a very dynamic and exciting format. The style of play will be quite different to say the Test Match.

In the T20 the bowler will mix up their delivery, so the batsman can’t get comfortable. In test you tend to go down the same line a lot and then try and catch them out with a different and unexpected bowl, it’s very much a case of playing the long game.

In the shorter formats the batters will take more risks too, you want to be scoring bigger runs, so the batters will try and go for more 6’s and boundary’s.

Is there an advantage in batting first?

In the shorter match, if you bat first it gives you the chance to lay down the marker, then you know what you need to prevent happening when you are fielding – we call it scoreboard pressure.

So as a general rule you want to bat first, but it can make a difference depending on the weather too, sometimes there is a benefit to fielding first, especially if the weather is changing through the day.

Who should we watch out for?

Both the captains are impressive characters, for England we have Charlotte Edwards who has been playing for 17 years. Charlotte has a lot of class and elegance about her and no doubt her experience will come to play here.

Meg Lanning is Australia’s captain, she is relatively new compared to Charlotte having made her international debut in 2011, but she is arguably the best batter in the world right now, she’s very dynamic and a clean hitter.

Ellyse Perry is a great all-rounder from Australia. She is a big game player, loves the big stage and will enjoy the fact that all the matches are being broadcast.

Katherine Brunt, from England has played in a number of Ashes series. She will be the leader of the attack and will lead the bowling. Both she and Anya (Shrubsole) complement each other well, they are a formidable duo.

The Women’s Ashes is exclusively live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and via the BBC Sport website from Tuesday 21st July.

Danielle Sellwood, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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