Amy Jones has been impressed with how easily England newcomers Mahika Gaur and Lauren Filer have hit the ground running.
On their ODI debuts, Gaur and Filer took three wickets apiece as a youthful England side rebounded from their shock T20 series defeat to Sri Lanka by thrashing the tourists at Chester-le-Street on Saturday.
The pair have been given a chance to shine in the absence of several regulars, with captain Heather Knight and head coach Jon Lewis eager to stress test those further down the pecking order.
“When you are given opportunities like this, it can put a bit of extra pressure on you,” Jones said. “Especially as a young player thinking ‘when other people come back am I still going to have a place?’
“It can be very easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself so it’s been so pleasing how they don’t seem to be feeling the pressure.
“Whether they are or not, they seem like they’re enjoying it and it’s reflected in their performances which is great. With a younger team on the whole, it’s great to give them opportunity.”
Gaur, who made her England debut in the T20 series having switched allegiance from the United Arab Emirates, set the hosts on the path to victory by castling Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu.
The 17-year-old left-armer, standing at 6ft 3in, exploited some early movement to also bowl fellow opener Anushka Sanjeewani before claiming the final wicket as Sri Lanka were all out for 106.
Filer, whose pace unsettled Australia batters in the Ashes Test, ripped through the middle order. Jones took three of her five catches off the 22-year-old quick – a record by an England wicketkeeper in a women’s ODI.
“I thought they were great,” Jones said of the duo. “Until this series, I’ve never faced Mahika or kept to her, it feels like she’s shot up out of nowhere. I’ve been so impressed with her, as has everybody.
“(She offers) something different with being a left-armer and her height. She swings the ball and she’s really consistent for a young player. I’m really excited to see where she can get to in her career.
“With a bowler like Lauren, you’re getting a catch every ball. I’m really enjoying keeping to her and I was impressed with her again. She’s got something that not many people have in the pace that she has.
“She’s definitely an impact player and how Heather used her in the Test match and even in the ODI was exactly how we want to use her – come on for shortish spells and just give it her all for a bit and make something happen.”
England wrapped up a seven-wicket win with 32 overs to spare in the north-east and they can move into an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series at Northampton’s Wantage Road on Tuesday.
Jones was pleased with the response after the 2-1 loss in the T20s, where Sri Lanka became the first side other than Australia to administer a bilateral series defeat on England in the format since 2010.
“As a group, we were really disappointed with how the T20s went,” Jones added. “Going into any series, when you go in as favourites especially, you want to get the job done and convincingly.
“To lose those two games was definitely disappointing. But a big (conversation) was around how two bad days doesn’t make you a bad team and knowing how quickly cricket can change.
“The general feeling was just staying positive. There was a big ask for energy. There was a focus from Lewy (Jon Lewis) on making sure in the field we’re fizzing the ball back to me. That really helped us focus.”