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England pin hopes on Dunkley’s batting promotion

Australia won the one-off Test while England won the T20I series 2-1.

With Emma Lamb currently struggling, England management have decided to promote Sophia Dunkley to the first ODI of the series against Australia. Notably, the 24-year-old performed so well in the T20I series with Alyssa Healy-led team that team management believed the cricketer could upset Australian bowling in the first over. So Dunkley will likely start as an opener alongside scoring Tammy Beaumont. Sensational in his one-off Test at Trent Bridge marked his second century.

Captain Heather Knight, meanwhile, acknowledged the new development and said he would fight in third place in Dunkley’s place. She also praised the young player, saying Dunkley has done well for England in recent years and hopes he will shine in his new role.

“Sophia will open the batting surface. She moved up to 3 last year and was amazing and really hit and made an impression so she’s going to step up to the open and do exactly what she did with the ODI team when she was 3. We want to maximize our power play and this was a change we made last year when Sophia moved up to 3rd to try and manage her power play a bit better. But even for Sofia, she’s a real hitter. She’s not just a top player,” Sofia told ESPNcricinfo.

Notably, Dunkley scored a brilliant half-century in the first T20I against Australia, and scored an important 57-run streak with Danny Wyatt in the second T20I. Meanwhile, despite only scoring nine runs in the third T20I, Knight believes his 39-run partnership with Wyatt actually contributed to the win at Lords.

“Your partnership at Lords was great. I thought they probably won the match in their early stages, especially Danny and Sofia, who took over the match and did a great job. Of course she scores fast so she can hit big runs.It’s up to her to play the original game and try to hit the bad balls and put pressure on the bowlers again, but maybe not at the pace she had in T20. Maybe, but that’s the logic behind it,” Knight said.

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