Amy Jones credits youngsters' injection of energy for England turnaround

Amy Jones took five catches in the innings Getty Images

Amy Jones has credited an injection of energy brought by England's three debutants in their opening ODI against Sri Lanka with turning the hosts' results around after their disappointing T20I series defeat.

Mahika Gaur, the 17-year-old left-armer who played 19 T20Is for UAE before making her England debut during the T20 leg of Sri Lanka's visit, claimed three wickets upon being handed her maiden ODI cap in Durham on Saturday.

Fellow seamer Lauren Filer, meanwhile, had the visitors just as flummoxed by her searing pace as the Australians were during the Ashes Test earlier in the summer. Playing her first ODI at the weekend, 22-year-old Filer also took three wickets, including two in two balls, as England romped home by seven wickets to go 1-0 up in the series.

"It feels like youth often brings energy and we've seen that with the girls that have come in," Jones said. "They've really brought a buzz around them and just a real excitement to play for England, which we all have, but it just looks a bit different when you're a bit younger.

"They really pick people up around them as well. I think English cricket's in a great place and to see all this competition for places is only a good thing.

"As a player, when you are given opportunities like this, it can put a bit of extra pressure on you, especially as a young player, thinking, 'when other people come back, am I still going to have a place?' and 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 really cool. They're just enjoying it and it's reflected in their performances."

Jones took five catches in the match, becoming the first England wicketkeeper to do so in a women's ODI, including three off Filer, as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 106 in 30.2 overs.

In reply, Tammy Beaumont and Emma Lamb broke the back of the paltry run chase with an opening stand worth 61 runs and 24-year-old batter Maia Bouchier, England's third ODI debutant for the match having previously played 22 T20Is, struck the winning runs with a boundary off Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu in a run-a-ball 17 not out.

"She's great fun to keep to with that extra pace," Jones said of Filer. "It was quite a slow wicket, I thought, a bit of bounce but not particularly fast up in Durham, so I was really excited when she came on to bowl and still found the carry and pushed me back a bit further.

"With a bowler like Lauren, you just feel like you're getting a catch every ball. I really enjoy keeping to her and was impressed. She's got something that not many people have in the pace that she has, so she's definitely an impact player.

Gaur claimed the prize wicket of in-form Athapaththu in her third over and then bowled opener Anushka Sanjeewani with an excellent inswinger to reduce Sri Lanka to 26 for 2 before claiming the final wicket of the innings.

"I thought they were great," Jones said. "Mahika, until this series, I've never faced her or kept to her or anything, so it feels like she's just shot up out of nowhere. But I've been so impressed, as has everybody. Something different being a left-hander and her height, but she swings the ball so well and she's really consistent for a young player too. I'm really excited to see where she can get to in her career."

Jones was also backing her side to maintain their momentum heading into Tuesday's second ODI in Northampton, followed by the last match in Leicester on Thursday.

"There was a big ask for energy going into the 50-over games, having not played the longer format in a while and at the end of the season," she said. "There was a real focus from Lewy [head coach Jon Lewis] making sure that when we're in the field, we're fizzing the ball back to me and we are just showing so much energy and I think that really helped as a focus.

"As a group we were really disappointed with how the T20s went. Going into any series, when you go in as favourites especially, you want to get the job done and convincingly as well. So to lose those two games definitely it was disappointing. It was really key for us to put in a good performance in Durham and stamp our authority onto the ODI series."