Women's Ashes Test
Flash Gordon bolts into England Test squad
England spinner's impressive showing against Australia in tour match has vaulted her into the squad for this week's one-off Test match
Laura Jolly in Taunton
17 July 2019, 05:31 AM AEST
Scottish-born left-arm orthodox spinner Kirstie Gordon has forced her way into England's 13-player squad for the sole Test of the multi-format women's Ashes on the back of her brilliant performance against Australia's best batters in last week's red-ball tour game.
Gordon comes in after dismissing a veritable who's who of Australia's stars while playing for the England Academy side in their three-day tour game against Australia in Marlborough, picking up eight wickets across two innings.
In the first innings, she removed openers Alyssa Healy and Nicole Bolton; while in the second she dismissed Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner and Jess Jonassen – albeit with the last three looking to attack as Australia eyed a declaration.
The 21-year-old, who was part of England's squad at the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean late last year before being sidelined by stress fractures, has five T20I caps to her name but has yet to play a Test.
In light of her success in Marlborough, Australia opener Alyssa Healy said there would be an emphasis on counteracting England's left-arm slow-bowling weapons ahead of the Test.
"(Gordon) bowled really well, potentially she took a few wickets later in the day when we were trying to move the game along and we were trying to attack her," Healy said on Tuesday.
"It'll be interesting to see what XI they go with, they've got some great left-arm spinning options in that squad so we'll have to make sure both our right-hand and left-hand batters we've got in our squad can counter that."
The match in Taunton is shaping as a battle of the left-arm spinners, with Gordon joining Sophie Ecclestone in the England squad.
Dismissed from the one-day international squad that lost the ODI leg of the multi-format Ashes 3-0 are Danni Wyatt and Jenny Gunn, while Fran Wilson and Alex Hartley have remained with the England group in Taunton as cover.
Australia boast two left-arm spinners of their own in Jess Jonassen and Sophie Molineux, with both likely to be part of the tourists' XI come Thursday morning.
"She's very different to Sophie Ecclestone, she's a bit shorter, a bit slower through the air but she gives the ball a real spin," England spearhead Anya Shrubsole said of Gordon on Tuesday.
"She performed brilliantly in the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and she spins the ball in and she had success in the three-day game so she brings confidence in with her."
Australia hold a 6-0 lead in the points-based series after sweeping the ODIs and only need draw the Test to retain the Ashes, whereas England must win that game and all three T20Is that follow to reclaim the trophy.
Boosting England's confidence will be the 319-run win they claimed over Australia A in a three-day warm-up at Millfield School last week, where three players – openers Tammy Beaumont and Amy Jones, and allrounder Natalie Sciver – scored centuries and only three wickets were lost across both innings, while England's bowling attack bowled the tourists out twice on a flat track.
"It's obviously a very important match for us and we need to win it to stay in the series," England captain Heather Knight said.
"The beauty of the multi-format points series means we're still very much in the battle, a normal bilateral series that finished like the ODIs would have been finished but we can get back to 6-4 with a win in the Test match and that's exciting.
"The warm-up at Millfield was ideal. We saw batters get runs and spend time in the middle and the bowlers performed well to bowl out the opposition twice on a flat one. We're raring to go again to get back into the Ashes."
England Test squad: Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Kirstie Gordon, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Sarah Taylor
Day one of the Taunton Test will begin at 11am on Thursday local time (8pm AEST) and will be broadcast live and free on the Nine Network and ABC Radio.
CommBank Ashes Tour of England
Australia lead England 6-0
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
England ODI squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Jenny Gunn, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danni Wyatt
July 2: Australia won by two wickets
July 4: Australia won by four wickets
July 7: Australia won by 194 runs
July 11-13: Australia won by 240 runs
July 18-21: Only Test, The County Ground, Taunton
July 26: First T20, County Ground, Chelmsford
July 28: Second T20, The County Ground, Hove
A Test victory is worth four points (two each for a draw), two points are awarded for ODI and T20 wins