HomeSPORTSEngland vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Girls's T20I - Issy Wong's woes put...

England vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Girls’s T20I – Issy Wong’s woes put a dent within the optimism of England youth coverage

Heather Knight, England’s captain, admitted her younger crew had been handed some “humble pie” after a chastening eight-wicket defeat towards Sri Lanka within the second T20I at Chelmsford. Nevertheless, she defended the choice to provide a recall to the visibly out-of-sorts Issy Wong, whose troublingly erratic show put an additional dampener on what Knight admitted had been a case of her crew “all [having] a foul day on the similar time, sadly”.

England had come into the competition brimful of optimism after an emphatic victory within the collection opener at Hove on Thursday. Nevertheless, confronted with a sensational captain’s efficiency from Chamari Athapaththu, they had been this time routed for 104 in 18 overs, then clubbed to defeat with an enormous 40 balls to spare. Athapaththu herself led from the entrance with 55 from 40 balls, as Sri Lanka secured a well-known maiden T20I victory over England on the tenth time of asking.

“We have had a foul day, we have misplaced a recreation of cricket,” Knight mentioned. “There’s not going to be an enormous inquiry about it. We’ve not performed nicely and Sri Lanka have performed very nicely, and given us a little bit of humble pie to be sincere.

“Credit score to Sri Lanka, however typically that occurs in cricket,” she added. “We have a really inexperienced aspect, loads of guys are studying their commerce, and we are able to determine some areas we are able to get higher at. It is clearly fairly a humbling day, but additionally a possibility for us to essentially house in on what we have to do higher, shifting ahead.”

England’s batting was clearly responsible for the defeat, as a succession of gamers succumbed to the arduous lengths of Sri Lanka’s spinners – most notably the recalled Inoshi Fernando, who supplied little width on a hybrid wicket and turned the screw relentlessly after a dominant powerplay.

Nevertheless, it was Wong’s efficiency with the ball that attracted essentially the most consideration after the match. She was visibly struggling along with her run-up in a grim first over that contained a large and three front-foot no-balls, and it was one thing of a shock when Knight entrusted her with a second over with Sri Lanka needing simply 13 runs to win. Three pushed fours later, the scores had been degree and Wong’s comeback figures learn 2-0-24-0.

“It was a troublesome day and typically, while you’re uncovered to that kind of strain state of affairs, it could actually make it harder, however she’s a fairly resilient character,” Knight mentioned. “She’s a fairly optimistic particular person, so I do not assume it’ll have an effect on her an excessive amount of.”

Nonetheless, Wong’s show – in her first worldwide look since December – was an alarming one for individuals who recall the ebullience and optimism of her preliminary England performances, significantly her three-for on her ODI debut towards South Africa in July 2022, when she was being earmarked as the plain pace-bowling successor to Katherine Sciver-Brunt.

Since then, nevertheless, Wong was a notable omission from England’s T20 World Cup squad in South Africa, and this summer season she has seen the likes of Lauren Filer and, latterly, Mahika Gaur leapfrog her within the tempo pecking order.

And although she stays a vastly marketable asset for English cricket, as evidenced by her memorable hat-trick for Mumbai Indians within the inaugural WPL in India earlier this yr, Wong’s efficiency on this yr’s Hundred – a complete of 30 balls and one wicket throughout 5 matches as Birmingham Phoenix completed rock-bottom and winless – left England, as Knight put it, “searching for a little bit of context for the place she’s at”.

“She’s been struggling a bit bit for rhythm the entire summer season,” Knight mentioned. “She’s been given 5 balls at a time within the Hundred. She hasn’t had an opportunity to come back again from spells, and that is in all probability put loads of strain on how she begins.

“She has been making an attempt just a few issues and listening to loads of completely different voices, which has in all probability led to her run-up points. She did not actually have these earlier in the summertime. We all know what kind of cricketer she will be, which is why we have backed her when she’s been struggling a bit bit.”

Knight added that Wong’s subsequent step can be to work intently with Matt Mason, England ladies’s bowling coach, “to get again to the place we all know she will be”.

“Issy’s acquired a transparent plan over the subsequent month about what she’s going to do. Matt Mason’s an excellent bowling coach. We wished to get a little bit of context of the place she’s at, and Issy wished a little bit of context of the place she’s at as nicely. She had just a few good periods, and do not remorse taking part in her in any respect.”

Total, nevertheless, Knight insisted that the teachings that Sri Lanka had meted out at Chelmsford can be invaluable ones for her younger crew, and much from exposing the restrictions of an untested group of gamers, the added jeopardy of a collection decider in Derby on Wednesday can be an extra probability to fast-track their development.

“It wasn’t about underestimating Sri Lanka in any respect,” Knight mentioned. “It was about what’s finest for us as a aspect, shifting ahead. We need to expose folks to worldwide cricket, we had been fairly clear that that was the aim firstly of this collection, and nobody was [complaining] at Hove once we had been smashing 180 off 17 overs, so I would not change something.

“It is a good lesson for children that, for those who’re not in a position to execute your expertise the way you need to, you are going to get punished. Sadly it is gone fallacious for just about everybody, so it is a dangerous day on the workplace. However we’ll go to Derby, nonetheless trying to play precisely how we need to play, and clearly it is a collection decider, which is thrilling.”

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket



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