Lewis: 'Door is definitely not shut' for Beaumont's T20I return

Maia Bouchier drives through the off side Getty Images

Tammy Beaumont will remain in contention to win a recall to England's T20 international team if she continues her recent form, according to head coach Jon Lewis, who explained that her omission from their squad to play Sri Lanka would enable him to learn more about Maia Bouchier.

Beaumont lost her place in England's T20I set-up last year after struggling to keep pace with the demands of the format but has reinvented herself as a short-form batter this year, scoring at a strike rate of 142.53 in the Charlotte Edwards Cup and 166.40 in the ongoing Hundred season.

On Monday, she scored the first century in the women's Hundred and the highest individual score in either the men's or women's competition when she hit 118 off 61 balls for Welsh Fire against Trent Rockets. But that was not enough to seal a return to England's squad, which was selected after that innings and announced on Friday morning.

Sophia Dunkley and Danni Wyatt have been England's regular openers since the build-up to last year's Commonwealth Games, with Bouchier biding her time on the bench. With Dunkley rested for this series, Bouchier will have the opportunity to open the batting in T20Is for the first time.

"Obviously Tammy's playing fantastically well," Lewis said. "I'm really pleased with how she's playing - she's really made a shift in what she's doing in her game. We had to make a choice around who was going to open the batting with Danni Wyatt. Obviously, Danni and Sophia Dunkley have done a great job for us.

"Maia Bouchier has been our travelling reserve for that whole time, so my view on that was that Maia deserves that opportunity. She's been in our squads and [we wanted] to put her in at the top of the order, to give her an opportunity to play three games and show us what she can do, because she's been playing fantastically well for the [Southern] Vipers and the Southern Brave."

Lewis said that Beaumont will come under consideration for the squad for next year's T20 World Cup in Bangladesh, but that he would learn more from watching Bouchier open the batting for the first time in international cricket than from seeing Beaumont translate her domestic form back into an England shirt.

"We've got a year now until we pick a World Cup 15, and I just want [Beaumont] to keep doing what she's doing. The door is definitely not shut on her playing T20 cricket for England. I know she's desperate to play; I know how desperately hard she's working.

"I just wanted to try and develop the rest of the team and give us as many options as we can, and put as much pressure [as possible] on everyone who would normally be selected in the XI. I think Tammy is OK with the decision; I don't think she's particularly happy, but she's OK with it.

"She understands that if she continues to push her case, she may well get the opportunity down the line. I know what Tammy will do against Sri Lanka, if you know what I mean. I don't know what Maia will do, so I'm really interested to see how she goes because we've been carrying her around the world."

Fast bowler Issy Wong has been named in the T20I squad despite a difficult summer in domestic cricket with Central Sparks and Birmingham Phoenix, and Lewis said that England were keen for her to work with bowling coach Matt Mason to "get her back bowling at her best".

Lewis said: "It's been pretty obvious to everyone that Issy has struggled a little bit over the course of this summer, off the back of a really good WPL. It's quite important for us to keep what we feel is someone who's really talented and really exciting close to us.

"There are two ways of looking at Issy's situation. One is, she's not bowling particularly well so we don't select her and we push her away from us. My view is that surrounding her with good support, knowledge and help is a better way to get the best out of people.

"We're in constant touch with Issy, and we're trying very hard to get her back to where she was. She'll openly admit, I imagine, that she's lost a little bit of confidence. However, I'm very keen on backing our best young talent and I'm hopeful that we can do a really good job around her and get her back bowling at her best."