Lauren Bell hoping to knock over Aussies in Women’s Ashes Test

England bowler Lauren Bell is not fazed by the record of Alyssa Healy and her team.

England bowler Lauren Bell is not fazed by the record of Alyssa Healy and her team. Photo: AAP

England seamer Lauren Bell fell in love with Test cricket when she made her debut against South Africa last summer and hopes this week’s Ashes opener against Australia can capture the mood of the nation.

Bell made international debuts in all three formats in 2022 but her maiden red-ball appearance at Taunton stood out as an experience she will never forget.

The 22-year-old’s first outing ended in a rain-affected draw with England pushing for victory on the fourth and final day, but Bell’s first taste of the long-form game left her eager for more.

Thursday’s clash against the world-beating Australians is set to be bigger in every sense, with both boards breaking with convention to schedule a fifth day and over 14,500 tickets sold at Trent Bridge – a venue with major Ashes tradition.

Bell can hardly wait.

“When I made my debut last year it was memorable for so many reasons but the thing that really stood out was just how special Test match cricket felt,” she told the PA news agency.

“I don’t think I had ever fully appreciated it before, but I could see just how special it was to be part of and felt so lucky to be part of it.

“From the outside, I never realised quite how much fun it could be, how much went into it, how much planning. I feel I learned as much in the space of a week as I ever had done before.

“It’s exciting to be playing at Trent Bridge this year, a big Test ground with lots of history, and we need to appreciate women’s cricket heading in the right direction and show how far we’ve come.”

Bell realises Australia’s reputation as the dominant team of their generation has been well earned but, as a 183cm fast bowler, she is not given to timidity.

“Beating Australia is the main goal for us,” she said.

“We know they have been ahead of us for the last few years, but we’ve worked really hard and there’s real confidence that we can really challenge them this year.

“We have to not be scared about failing. We can’t be worried about getting something wrong, thinking what might happen if we do.

“We’ll take the same mindset we have in T20 cricket – be confident, go to our strengths and look to take the positive options. We’ll be going out there with intent and aiming to get a result.”

Meanwhile, Alice Capsey and Alice Davidson-Richards have both been released from the Test squad in order to feature in the T20 A side in Wednesday’s meeting with Australia.

Davidson-Richards’ absence means there will be at least one change to the Ashes line-up following the Test against South Africa last year.

The Test will be England Women’s first over five days on home soil, and their first game played at Trent Bridge since 2000.

It will be followed by three ODIs and three T20 fixtures to decide the multi-format series.


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