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Ashes retention takes its toll on Taylor

Sarah Taylor reflects on a tough but triumphant tour of Australia

By Rob Barnett

Sarah Taylor says England’s back-to-back Ashes wins have come amid the “hardest stretch” of international cricket that she has experienced.

Although still just 24, Taylor has been an integral part of the England team for seven and a half years and won both the World Cup and World Twenty20 in the space of four months during 2009.

However, the wicketkeeper-batter believes the current sequence of home and away Ashes series, with a World T20 soon to follow from late-March, is harder.

Sarah Taylor told ecb.co.uk that England's Ashes retention came in what has "possibly been the hardest stretch that we’ve ever had"

To make life tougher England have been hindered by injury, particularly to important bowlers like Katherine Brunt, Anya Shrubsole and Laura Marsh.

“I actually think the past 18 months, with the World Cup coming up, has possibly been the hardest stretch that we’ve ever had,” Taylor told ecb.co.uk.

“That’s probably a result of some of these injuries that are coming. It’s been such a tough time, but we’re still playing a brand of cricket that we want to and we’re still coming out on top, which is good.”

England won the Ashes by 10 points to eight Down Under, retaining the urn last Wednesday in the first of three T20 internationals.

Although the tourists lost the subsequent two matches, Taylor thinks that a fit-again squad will have a good chance of success in the sub-continent.

“Ultimately the batters didn’t stand up in the last two games (in the way) that we would have liked,” she admitted. “But actually in terms of those injuries, hopefully they’ll be back and still be fighting fit come the Bangladesh World Cup.

“We’re just very ready to just rest from this - it has just been an extremely long and tough series - and then go in with fresh legs.”

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