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Women’s Ashes: Aussies to keep pressure on England after retaining urn

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They may have already retained the urn but don’t expect the Aussies to go easy on England in the final two games of the Women’s Ashes.

Popular Aussie quick Megan Schutt has taken a cheeky swipe at England now that the tourists have missed their chance for Ashes glory, declaring “if there’s anyone we can put pressure on it’s England”.

With its 27-run win in the first of three ODIs on Thursday night, Australia ensured it would at least draw the Ashes series and retain the prized urn.

But with the World Cup looming and a chance to claim an outright series victory, the Aussies are looking to keep their feet on the throats of the English.

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Schutt is backing her troops to get the job done, pointing to the one-off Test as evidence of their ability to withstand the pressure of the biggest series in cricket.

“It’s the Ashes. Every game comes to the wire,” said Schutt, who was called back into the XI for the first ODI after missing the Test.

“That Test just showed the levels that we’re at and the pressure that both teams create.

“I think they came out in the media and they said something about us caving under pressure. We thought it was a bit ironic after they lost 6-27 in the Test.

“We don’t want to give them a sniff, so the next two games are going to be just as crucial for us.

“If there‘s anyone that we can put pressure on it’s England.”

By winning one of the two ODIs, Australia will claim a series victory, which star all-rounder Tahlia McGrath says is a top priority.

“A few of the girls have mentioned that just retaining the Ashes doesn’t really sit as well with them as winning them outright. So that’s certainly a big focus for us,” said McGrath ahead of the second ODI, to be played in Melbourne on Sunday.

“We’re certainly not satisfied. The celebrations were pretty subdued last night, and we’re certainly keen to push on and win this series outright.

“There’s still two big games to go, and certainly as well leading into that World Cup, ODI prep is crucial.”

White-ball specialist Nicola Carey and Test hero Annabel Sutherland both missed out on selection in the first ODI, but McGrath admitted she was unsure whether the pair, both selected in the World Cup squad, would have a chance to strut their stuff in the remaining Ashes matches.

“I‘m not too sure what the plan is, what’s going to happen, but I suppose with workload coming into it, and a busy, busy schedule coming up, that might be something that’s looked at,” she said.

“But I don‘t think it really matters who we put out on the park at the moment.

“I think our depth is probably our biggest weapon. The fact that a different person seems to be standing up every game for us and playing different roles at different times, that’s a really exciting place to be in.”



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