England opener Tammy Beaumont credits her match-winning unbeaten run-a-ball 87 against India in the first ODI in Bristol to letting go of the concept of ‘form’.
“I have stopped believing in form. Once you get to a certain stage, you know what works and you stick with it. It’s all about minor tinkering and mindset more importantly. I’ve focussed on being ruthless and relentless,” she said.
This was Beaumont’s fourth ODI fifty on the trot and also comes off the back of a confident 66 in England’s only innings in the drawn Test against India at the same venue last week.
Speaking about her batting process, Beaumont said the team’s evolution and gameplan is oriented to the ODI World Cup in New Zealand in 2022.
“I think it has just kinda evolved naturally. We are all maturing as players and are working towards how to play in that World Cup,” she explained.
A large part of that is stitching solid opening stands with partner Lauren Winfield-Hill. Given both players are capable of aggression up top, Beaumont hinted at clear cut roles for the duo in the lineup – a delegation that helped England chase down 202 with 15.1 overs to spare.
“My job with Lauren Winfield-Hill is to assess the conditions and get in and have one of the top four to bat through. We are all attacking at an 80-plus strike rate, so it becomes important to not lose our wicket. I wasn’t the plan to chase down the target as quickly as we did, it just happened,” she added.
At one point during the innings, Beaumont dealt almost exclusively in boundaries. Does this mean that keeping a high strike rate has become a priority?
“Strike rate is not always on our mind,” Beaumont said. “My role is to bat as long as possible and score well so the others can play their natural game.”
The 30-year-old’s 119-run stand with Nat Sciver (74*) proved decisive in England’s acceleration towards the target, with the duo almost competing at one stage to see who can clear the boundary more.
“Once Nat starts, there’s no stopping her. At one stage I thought I wasn’t going to face another ball but she was kind. It it impossible to keep up with her, but today was bout getting a job done,” she added.
Speaking about an underwhelming performance in all departments by India, Beaumont stressed on how it all comes down to mindset, referring to inputs the team’s sports psychologist Phoebe Sanders gave her earlier this year.
“The day before the first game in New Zealand she (Sanders) said to me, ‘you know you have a choice how you go about it. Ever since then her voice has been in my head as I’m walking out, ‘you know you have a choice how you approach it, you can kind of go with the flow and see what happens or you can go out and try to dominate and try to be relentless’,” Beaumont said.
“Dominating for me is about dispatching every bad ball I get,” she added.
She continued that she was not surprised by the Indian batting folding the way it did given that she’s seen what England’s bowling attack is capable of over the summer, crediting the win to their clinical performance during the Indian innings.
“I have faced our bowlers in the nets and seen them in the Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy. I know how good they are. Our bowlers were making it hard all season. Katherine Brunt got Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana fell early, and that helped us contain and restrict the Indian innings thereafter,” she said.
When asked if 250 was a minimum total teams should be looking at in ODIs, Beaumont brushed aside the limit.
“I think for us, we don’t necessarily look at 250, because pitches may sometimes have 300 in them or have only 230-ish to give. It’s all about assessing conditions early. It was overcast meaning we would have swing. We knew if one of the top batters batted through, we’d have a good chance of a win. Our bowlers did well to restrict them to just 201. And we chased down the 201 quite clinically. We went about it in little phases in the game – building partnerships, phases of getting wickets – worked out the pitch and took it one phase at a time,” Beaumont added.