BARNSLEY-born Katherine Brunt has fired out an Ashes warning to Australia – revealing she is at peak fitness for the first time in three years heading into the start of the series today.
Brunt, 30, is set to form one part of England’s seam attack alongside Kate Cross and Anya Shrubsole.
York-born Lauren Winfield – in excellent recent form with the bat for Yorkshire – is also earmarked for a leading role in the hosts’ quest to lift the urn again for a third successive time.
While Australia are world champions in both forms of limited overs cricket, Brunt says England’s recent Ashes successes mean they are full of belief.
And Brunt, who returned home part-way through England’s series win in Australia two winters ago due to a back injury, is keen to make up for lost time.
Back to pristine fitness ahead of today’s opener in Taunton, she said: “I feel really good, I’m in good nick. It’s been about three years coming where I’ve played without pain.
“My back is good at the minute, I’m really strong and feeling in good rhythm.
“Hopefully I can really dominate with the ball alongside Anya Shrubsole and Kate Cross.
“We hope to take early wickets and get in there from the start.”
England’s men’s side may be collectively licking their wounds after a demoralising second Test mauling at Lord’s, but confidence is oozing through every pore of their female counterparts.
The first of three Royal London One-Day internationals takes place today, with three ODIs, three NatWest International T20s and the Kia Test Match to be held to determine the destination of the Ashes.
“We’re very confident having won the last two series and I guess we’re on top going into it,” added Brunt ahead of the multi-format series which will be screened live on Sky Sports.
Winfield too is not lacking positivity and intent and has stressed the need for England to start in positive fashion.
She said: “It’s just a case of enjoying the big occasion; get those nerves out of the way on Tuesday morning, and once we’re into the series it’s about enjoying and playing with passion and looking at it as if it’s just another game
“There’s no two ways about it – you want to throw that first punch. It’s really important to get momentum early, whether it’s the first game or first couple of games. It’s important to start well and set the tone for the series.”