By Rob Barnett
Left-arm spinner Rebecca Grundy is in her first few days of senior international cricket, yet she is relishing the chance to face the stars of the women’s game.
The 23-year-old received her maiden England call-up for the World Twenty20 and, having played in last week’s two warm-up fixtures, made her international debut versus West Indies on Monday.
In her first over, the fourth of the match, against the Windies she had to bowl at powerhouse Stafanie Taylor, who top-scored with 56 to set up a nine-run victory.
Yesterday Grundy, again first-change, took on Mithali Raj, the India captain whose 57 could not prevent a five-wicket loss.
The newcomer from Solihull felt well prepared to tackle big-hitters Taylor and Raj, given she has to bowl in training at the likes of Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor.
Speaking to ecb.co.uk, Grundy said: “I think we’ve got a few in our team as well, the likes of Sarah and Lot, so just bowling at them and getting the practice through that and being mindful of their (opposition batters') strengths from looking at footage, and then just using variations where I can to try to keep on top of them.”
Grundy has enjoyed success in both group games, making Shemaine Campbelle play on in the first match and bowling Latika Kumari yesterday.
“It’s all a bit of a blur. Obviously she played on and it hit the wickets,” Grundy said of her first international scalp.
“I would have liked it to be spinning square or whatever. But the first wicket is something that I won’t forget and, moving forward, now I just look to build on that for the next few games.”
Being selected in the squad was a big enough achievement for the bowler who has represented Warwickshire Women since 2007, let alone making her England bow.
“It’s been a long, hard effort, hard work back in England,” she admitted.
“Just getting the opportunity to be on this tour is a huge moment for me, but then to get the call-up and to play against the West Indies was a great moment.”
Learning that she would play on each occasion the evening before the game, Grundy found it hard not to tell her family and friends who passed on eager congratulations when they found out.
“I don’t like to say anything to anyone, just in case. We don’t want it to get released. So it’s just a case of speaking to the team players and they settle my nerves a little bit,” she explained.
Speaking of the congratulatory messages, she added: “There was a few. Obviously the time difference meant some of them were coming in quite early on the next morning. But it’s Twitter, Facebook and obviously (from my) parents as well, so it’s been really good.”