Tammy Beaumont says England’s failure to handle Sri Lanka’s spinners during their T20 series defeat is “a wake-up call”.
The tourists secured a first T20 series win over England with victory by seven wickets in the third game at Derby, and their slow bowlers were once again to the fore.
Seven England wickets fell to spin, three of them to Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu, who top-scored with the bat with 44 off 28 balls after claiming 3-21.
The performance raised alarm bells about the ability of the hosts to deal with spin bowling after they were beaten in similar fashion in the second game at Chelmsford.
“I think it will be a bit of a wake-up call for how we play spin,” said England batter Beaumont, speaking in her capacity as a Sky Sports Cricket pundit having been left out of the T20 squad.
“You can see it on the girls’ faces, whenever you play for England you have a lot of pride in that and are desperate to win the game.”
England handed first call-ups to bowler Mahika Gaur and wicketkeeper-batter Bess Heath for the series against Sri Lanka as part of a much-changed squad.
“They will certainly be disappointed. Yes, they’ve given people opportunities,” Beaumont said.
“Personally, these players will be gutted to have not taken those opportunities and stuck their hand up with what’s to come in the future.
“The girls will look in the mirror and know they will need to do some work when it comes to playing spin and come back stronger for it.”
‘It’s a risk we took but we don’t regret it’
England’s captain Heather Knight defended the decision to play younger players in the team with Nat Sciver-Brunt and Sophia Dunkley being rested while Lauren Bell continues to recover from illness and Sophie Ecclestone remains ruled out after her shoulder injury.
“It was a risk we took, bringing some young players in and resting some senior players, but we don’t regret it,” said Knight.
“There is a lot of cricket these days and resting players gives opportunities. You don’t know too much about a player until you expose them to international cricket.”
England head coach Jon Lewis agreed the team need to improve against spin but, like Knight, defended the players named in the squad.
“Off the back of The Ashes and from what I saw in the World Cup, it is pretty clear that the way we play spin bowling is a big area of development for us and that has been highlighted here,” said Lewis.
“It is brilliant exposure for our players to understand where they are at in their cricketing journey. These are the bits we need to improve.
“People will watch us play spin and say, ‘this is where we think we can exploit them’ so I am really keen to work with the girls on playing spin and the options they have. There are lots of areas for growth.
“We will make sure we surround our players with lots of support and coaches and experiences that will help them develop.”
‘We always talk positively in the dressing room and never negatively’
Sri Lanka captain Athapaththu praised the strong performances across her team that helped them recover from 1-0 down to win the series 2-1.
“I am really happy about my performance and my team’s performance. I worked hard in the nets and we have been playing good cricket in previous games and we continued that performance today and we won,” said Athapaththu.
“My bowling unit has done really well today, and in the whole tournament so credit to them. The batting, bowling and fielding coaches have been really good.
“As a new group we have executed our plans really well. We always talk positively in the dressing room and never negatively.
“Sri Lanka Cricket have helped a lot for women’s cricket. They increased our payments and gave contracts to 60 players in our national side so we have a good domestic structure as well.”
The sides now meet in a three-match ODI series, with all three games live on Sky Sports Cricket, starting with Saturday’s opener from Durham.