Nat Sciver looking for England Women to continue momentum
Mark Robinson’s side have won their last 10 matches.
Nat Sciver hopes England Women can continue where they left off in Sri Lanka ahead of a bumper summer schedule that the all-rounder hopes will end in Ashes glory.
England ended their winter programme on the island by whitewashing their opponents in both the one-day and Twenty20 international series to extend their winning sequence to 10 matches in all formats.
Much of the focus in the next few months will centre on the points-based multi-format Ashes series but before then England first tackle West Indies in three ODIs and three T20s.
Sciver is therefore focused on the task at hand ahead of the first ODI at Grace Road on Thursday in a series where England would seal qualification to the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand with two victories.
She told Press Association Sport: “As a team we’re doing really well.
“Sometimes you can get complacent but we managed to not do that (in Sri Lanka) and made sure we finished off the way we should and made sure winning is a habit.
“But obviously we need to find that momentum again and keep it going during the summer, and just make sure we have that same ruthlessness in our team.
“We know (West Indies) are a very dangerous team and when they get going, it’s hard to stop them. We need to make sure that we are on it in all departments.”
Unfortunately they've got the Ashes at the minute but that's the goal: to get them back. Nat Sciver
Australia’s last visit to these shores for an Ashes series saw them leave with the urn, which they retained after an 8-8 series draw Down Under in late 2017.
Sciver is therefore relishing this summer’s showdown and believes defeating Australia would give her similar levels of euphoria to what she experienced when England won the World Cup two years ago.
She said: “That match at Lord’s was something that was really, really special and something that I’ll never forget, something I’ll treasure in my mind. But winning an Ashes series is something that is really, really special.
“I’ve managed to be part of two series where we’ve first won and then retained so that feeling is pretty close to the World Cup, so I’m very excited.
“Unfortunately they’ve got the Ashes at the minute but that’s the goal: to get them back.”
Sciver’s patented ‘Natmeg’ during the World Cup showed her inventiveness with the bat in her hand but she was quick to mention how her bowling has improved.
She added: “Over the last year and a half, my bowling has come along quite well. I’ve made a few tweaks to my action so I’m pretty happy with where that is.
“Not only has it allowed me to bowl a bit quicker but I’ve also been more consistent. Before I wasn’t really as reliable.
“I’ve been able to become more consistent with my areas and I get to bowl a bit more, which is good.”
Sarah Taylor, Sophie Ecclestone and Jenny Gunn have been recalled as England named a 15-strong squad for the first two ODIs against the Windies.
Wicketkeeper Taylor was absent for the tour of Sri Lanka as part of the management of her anxiety, while Ecclestone suffered a broken hand in the preceding trip to India to preclude the left-arm spinner’s involvement until now.
All-rounder Gunn, meanwhile, was rested for the entirety of the winter schedule but the trio are set to return to the international fold, with Georgia Elwiss missing out through injury.
England Women squad for first two ODIs against West Indies: Heather Knight (captain), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Alex Hartley, Jenny Gunn, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danni Wyatt.