Nat Sciver-Brunt, the world’s top-ranked all-rounder and a prolific batter in ODIs, made a remarkable return to England’s ODI squad against Sri Lanka, primarily as a batter. She celebrated her 100th ODI appearance with a historic performance, scoring a breathtaking 120 runs off just 74 deliveries. This remarkable century marked the fastest in the history of women’s One-Day International cricket and played a pivotal role in England’s convincing 161-run victory over Sri Lanka in the third ODI, securing a 2-0 series win.
During the post-match presentation ceremony, when questioned about her decision not to bowl any overs, Sciver-Brunt explained that she wanted to provide opportunities for young seamers like Mahika Gaur and Lauren Filer to showcase their abilities and skills.
Looking ahead, Sciver-Brunt expressed her intention to return to bowling for the India series scheduled for December. She clarified that the decision to refrain from bowling post-Ashes was made to allow her body some much-needed rest and to focus on training without rushing through various aspects of her game. Despite the temporary break from bowling, Sciver-Brunt is eager to pick up the ball once again, emphasizing her desire to make a comprehensive impact on every aspect of the game. As an all-rounder, she values the opportunity to contribute in both batting and bowling.
Sciver-Brunt’s limited bowling appearances followed a knee injury she sustained during the Ashes Test against Australia in June. Since then, she has been cautious about not overexerting herself on the bowling front and is now determined to make a successful comeback as a bowler when England faces India.
During the Ashes series, Sciver-Brunt showcased her prowess with the bat, earning her the title of ‘England Player of the Ashes.’ She accumulated an impressive 404 runs at an average of 57.71, including consecutive centuries.
Jon Lewis, the head coach of England Women’s team, explained that the decision to restrict Sciver-Brunt’s bowling was driven by a desire to maintain team balance and manage her workload effectively. He emphasized the importance of having Sciver-Brunt as a valuable all-rounder for the team’s long-term prospects. Her ability to bowl seam in the Powerplay and make a significant impact with the new ball adds a crucial dimension to the team’s strategy, particularly when playing in subcontinent conditions.