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    England is not prepared to call back Sophia Dunkley in spite of difficulties at the top
England is not prepared to call back Sophia Dunkley in spite of difficulties at the top
Sophia Dunkley. Source: independent.co.uk

England is not prepared to call back Sophia Dunkley in spite of difficulties at the top

In the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy last week, Dunkley scored 130 runs.

Though assistant coach Gareth Breese admits Sophia Dunkley may still need to wait her turn, the England player has been impressed with her flawless comeback after being dropped.

After some lacklustre performance, Dunkley was left out of the first international squads of the summer. She was sent back to South East Stars to regain her confidence, and last week, she delivered a stunning counterattack by smashing 130 against Northern Diamonds in the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy.

During Saturday's T20 opener against Pakistan, England's preferred top order was quickly dismissed in her absence, falling to 11 for four before the hosts rebounded for an easy victory.

In a wild opening at Edgbaston, Danni Wyatt, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, and Freya Kemp all fell between nought and five. However, despite Dunkley's invitation to the camp for a meeting with batting coach Alex Gidman on Tuesday, Breese is adamant that there won't be a sudden recall.

“As a batter sometimes it’s one mistake and you’re back in the pavilion. It’s not an ideal situation to be 11 for four, but one thing you can say about this set-up is that we back the girls,” he stated. “They wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t backed them. One blip and we’re not just going to make an absolute U-turn. It’s just one of those things and I’m sure we’ll be remedying it in the games to come. We’re trying not to chop and change selection. Hopefully (Dunkley) can play a few games rather than sit with us on the bench. I think that will be better for her. Every time a player leaves us that’s the intention, we can support her and give her the opportunity to get some more time in the middle and it’s working exactly how we would want it to. She has gone back and done what she’s done for years, she’s gone again and scored runs. All you can ask when you’re out of favour and you go back is to let the runs do the talking.”

In the end, England scored a winning 163 for six, with runs from Dani Gibson, Amy Jones, and captain Heather Knight. The final step was left to the spinners, who work under Breese's supervision.

Although Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn, and Charlie Dean are among the top five T20 bowlers according to the ICC rankings, Breese is driven to encourage them to keep becoming better.

“I’m probably a little bit of a ‘grumpy dad’,” he noted. “I try not to get flattered by the ratings, I just want them to keep improving and it will happen as a by-product. But credit to the girls for the work they’ve put in over the last few years to get that recognition in the standings.”

Vice-captain Nat Sciver-Brunt, who missed the first game due to a minor medical procedure, is back in training and will be back in the starting lineup on Friday in Northampton.

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