We know we can beat Australia – Sarah Glenn insists no mental block for England

We know we can beat Australia – Sarah Glenn insists no mental block for England

England’s hopes of regaining the Women’s Ashes are on a knife edge but Sarah Glenn insisted there is no mental block on them despite Australia continuing their stranglehold in this series.

In both the lone Test at Trent Bridge and the first of three T20s at Edgbaston, England had their moments but it was all-conquering Australia who prevailed in both to establish a 6-0 lead on points.

There is now no more margin for error if England are to win this multi-format series for the first time since 2013/14 – with two T20s and three ODIs still to play against the double world champions.

Sarah Glenn, centre, took two for 33 on Saturday (Nick Potts/PA)
Sarah Glenn, centre, took two for 33 on Saturday (Nick Potts/PA)

Heather Knight’s side have not defeated Australia in any format since February 2020 but leg-spinner Glenn is keeping the faith and asserted there is no psychological hurdle for England to clear.

Glenn told the PA news agency: “I feel like we already believe we can beat them. If you look at the T20 the other night, it was so close so I don’t think if we win we’ll go ‘oh wait, we can beat them’.

“We know we can beat them, we’ve got the potential to but we also know they are a top-class side and they’ve been winning for a long time. When you have that momentum, it can be very hard to break.

“The momentum shift can work in crazy ways so we’re still really hopeful. But a win or loss doesn’t define us. It’s about how we play our cricket.

“We were naturally disappointed and coming so close you do have that frustrating ‘what if’ feeling. But it’s still quite a positive camp and we’re just taking it day-by-day and enjoying the journey.”

The message from Knight and head coach Jon Lewis has been to entertain and inspire this summer and was repeated by Glenn, whose two wickets threatened an unlikely England comeback in Birmingham on Saturday.

Australia were cruising on 130 for two in pursuit of 154 but Glenn snared Ashleigh Gardner and the dangerous Grace Harris with her last two deliveries before the match built towards a grandstand finish.

Australia were always in pole position but it was not until the penultimate ball that Georgia Wareham punched spinner Sophie Ecclestone into the covers and scampered a nervy single to get them home.

Glenn added: “The battle is part of the fun. When it doesn’t go your way, it might be a bit less fun but you’ve just got to stick to your guns and not go into your shell.

“Me and Sophie thrive off that, trying to be really positive and take wickets.

Nearly 20,000 people watched the first T20 (Nick Potts/PA)
Nearly 20,000 people watched the first T20 (Nick Potts/PA)

“We really put up a fight as well, there were lots of little battles that were so close to going our way. We’re getting that feeling of ‘that was so close’ much more often. The gap is definitely closing.”

The second and third T20s will take place at the Kia Oval and Lord’s respectively and it is hoped there will be a high turnout as there was at Edgbaston – where a lively 19,527 crowd was in attendance.

It came at the end of a bruising week for the sport, with the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket finding racism, sexism, classism and elitism is entrenched in cricket in England and Wales.

But Glenn can sense the changing attitudes towards women’s cricket as she and her England team-mates spoke to the supporters after Saturday’s T20, signing pictures and taking pictures with them.

She added: “It was so nice to see everyone after and a lot of the discussions were just about how inspired they were. It’s amazing to see the support.

“Those little conversations make the world of difference. I remember when I was younger and I was the one with a hat to be signed, and the odd conversation I had with a cricketer really sticks with you.”