England Women preview the upcoming series against India and South Africa
England Women’s seamer Anya Shrubsole is ready to put the hard work of the new professional era into action when the first Test begins at Wormsley on Wednesday.
The match will be the first since the news that England Women had turned professional was announced at the start of the summer.
Since then Shrubsole and her team-mates have been conducting two-day camps every week at Loughborough as they prepared for the upcoming series against India and South Africa.
Shrubsole knows that work alone will not ensure results and is wary of an Indian side that will be determined to do well in their first Test in eight years.
“I think with all the extra recognition that is coming for us we know that we need to keep putting on the performances in the field because that’s what really matters,” she told ecb.co.uk.
“We’ve been working really hard having two-day camps every week up at Loughborough so hopefully all that hard work will translate on to the pitch.
“This will be a different challenge. The Indians haven’t played a Test match for eight years so I think they are looking forward to it as well. Hopefully it will be a really good game.
“I think it will be a bit of an advantage but I think it is up to us to make use of that advantage. We know that they are going to be a really tough team. They enjoy playing Test-match cricket so hopefully it will be a good game.”
England’s rubber against India – a three-match Royal London One-Day Series follows the Test – is their first since they lost the final of the World Twenty20 in April.
Shrubsole was named player of the tournament in Bangladesh and admits she is not alone in welcoming a return to England colours, saying: “We’re really excited. It’s been a while since we were together as a group.
“Everyone is back together and excited to meet up on Sunday and start with that Test match at Wormsley.”
Natasha Farrant is looking forward to making her return after a back injury ruled her out of the World Twenty20.
The young Kent left-armer has remained positive during the lay-off – it allowed her to revise for her exams – and will eventually make her comeback in the three-match NatWest Twenty20 series against South Africa that follows the India games.
“I got into the England team in a bit of a whirlwind really and then obviously the disappointing news after the women’s Ashes about my stress fracture,” she said.
“It was really disappointing because I missed the World Cup in Bangladesh, but to be honest I had to focus on my exams last year anyway so it was the best time that it could have come.
“I’ve had a really good period of rehab. I’m just so excited to be back involved. I’ve got a game at Chelmsford - there’s always a great crowd there - and the last game is at Edgbaston which is a double-header with the men which is really good for us gaining the crowds and they’re all televised.”