India vs England Women’s Series – Charlie Dean is doubtful for the tour opener in Mumbai – LSB

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Offspinner Charlie Dean could be a major absence from England’s spin department for the women’s T20I opener against India at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday. She was the latest stomach bug player to hit the England A camp during the three-T20I series against India A.

England captain Heather Knight said on the eve of the match: “Charlie Dean is the last one to go down and he may take some time to recover from that.” “She’s the only one who might be in doubt. We went through a strict quarantine and a transition period to get into the England team.” [from the A side]. We’ll see how it is [as the series progresses]”.

Dean, left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone, and leg-spinner Sarah Glynn are England spin options, along with part-time spinner Alice Capesie. Ecclestone is also returning from surgery after dislocating her right shoulder during the warm-up for the Manchester Originals v Southern Brave women’s 100 match. She subsequently withdrew from the Women’s Big Bash League and missed the home white-ball series against Sri Lanka.

Ecclestone was part of England’s two-week camp in Oman before traveling to India. On the eve of the first T20I, she was seen bowling – with one of England’s assistant coaches watching – before walking out. Knight said Ecclestone was going well.

“She’s doing really well. She’s back to bowling,” Knight said. “Bowling won’t be a problem. Maybe it’s because of playing on the field, some nerves… I’ve had injuries before, that’s always [about] Overcome your body and trust it again. And in the heat of battle, Sophie will do that and she should be able to overcome that.

She has been tracking well in training. She was into sports and diving and things like that. “We will keep an eye on her because she is a key player for us.”

Knight: Bounces more than you’d expect in Wankhede

After getting a first look at the conditions at Wankhead Stadium during practice on Monday, Knight said the extra bounce is something hitters will have to adjust to.

“The nets are right here on the edge of the square, so it gives you a good indication of how the court is playing,” she said. “The thing about Wankhede is that it bounces more than you would expect, and it’s different to the Brabourne Stadium where we played a lot of WPL games, where it slides a little bit more. So it’s a matter of getting used to that.”

“There was a bit of width in the nets. But I expect the main wicket won’t spin much. The pitch is fast too.”

India’s home series against Australia last December, as well as the inaugural WPL tournament, had large crowds at stadiums in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. Knight, who played for Royal Challengers Bangalore, expected a similar turnout and said the key for opposition players was not to lose focus.

“Sometimes you can feel things getting a little faster and faster, when there’s a crowd and you feel like the game is going too fast,” she said. “We talked a lot about trying to get our speed with the bat and the ball, trying to stay focused in the moment and trying to focus on what we want to do.

“Trying to silence the fans is going to be difficult. When you watch the men’s World Cup, you see the support and the passion that Indian fans have for India and after experiencing that, it is difficult to do that to silence the fans. Even if there are not many, they are usually very loud.”

“It’s little things like making sure you can communicate on the pitch about the noise as a leader, which is a bit difficult. It’s an amazing challenge and you want to play in front of huge crowds.”

S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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