Amy Jones admits she found the idea of standing in as England captain “daunting” but has thanked her team-mates for rallying round her.
With regular skipper Heather Knight out injured and deputy Nat Sciver taking a mental health break after initially agreeing to the lead the Twenty20 series against India, Jones was asked to step into the breach at short notice.
It was a role she had no real designs on but, given the relatively inexperienced nature of the squad, a burden she was willing to shoulder.
Her first outing went perfectly to plan, with a nine-wicket win at Chester-le-Street and standout performances from Sophia Dunkley, Alice Capsey and Sarah Glenn.
But Jones was particularly pleased with the way the group came together to share the leadership.
“I did have a conversation with Nat, where she said ‘it could be you Amy’. It was daunting. On the pitch, it’s definitely not something that comes naturally to me,” she said.
“It’s just the unknown, that’s what I was stressing about: what can go wrong? It’s a lot of responsibility with a young side. I wasn’t sure if they’d need more help than they did. Everyone stepped up, knew their game, and it was a lot simpler than I thought.
“We are missing key players and it could have been easy to go in our shells a bit, lose confidence. But I really felt everyone came together which was really pleasing. Now I can relax a bit more knowing we can get through a game, and the girls helping out made that so much easier.”
South East Stars all-rounder Alice Davidson-Richards has been added to England Women’s squad for the remainder of the Vitality IT20 series. pic.twitter.com/Vk65Si5gTs
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 12, 2022
Jones will be hoping for more of the same when the series moves to Derby’s Incora Ground on Tuesday, where South East Stars captain Alice Davidson-Richards will link up with the squad as Sciver’s replacement.
Beyond that, and with a three-match ODI leg to follow, the issue of captaincy appears to be an open question.
“I’m not sure I’ll be throwing my hat in the ring, 50 overs is a whole other ball game,” said Jones.
“I’m happy to focus on these T20s for now, but in saying that if they think I’m the right person it’s something I’ll never turn down.”
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur suggested after the first match that her side were unhappy with being asked to play on a damp pitch at Durham, claiming they were made to go in in imperfect conditions.
With a schedule that does not wrap up until September 24, Jones believes they may need to get used to it.
“Nothing came up pre-game. The umpires got us all in, captains and coaches, and said ‘we’re here to play cricket’. You’ll be waiting a while if you’re waiting for perfect conditions in September.”