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Six players to watch in the Women's Ashes

All-round star: Ellyse Perry will be key with bat and ball Getty Images

The Women's Ashes gets underway on Tuesday with the first of three ODIs in the multi-point series which includes a Test match in Taunton before three T20Is to round things off. Australia hold the prize after reclaiming it in 2015 then retaining it in a drawn series in 2017-18. Here are six players to keep an eye over the next month

Ellyse Perry

Tests: 7 matches, 432 runs at 61.71; 30 wickets at 17.33
ODIs: 103 matches, 2748 runs at 51.84; 134 wickets at 26.13
T20Is: 102 matches, 951 runs at 27.17; 100 wickets at 19.19

The allrounder is one of the leading cricketers in the world and enjoyed a wonderful 2018-19 season with a prolific WBBL campaign and a strong one-day series to finish against New Zealand. Her international career began in 2007 and she has seven Tests under her belt which will be valuable experience in a format rarely played by the women. In the previous Ashes Test Perry scored an unbeaten 213 in Sydney which ensured Australia couldn't lose the match and in the 2015 victory which helped regain the Ashes she took nine wickets at Canterbury. It will be interesting to see what role she plays in the T20Is later in the series having been lower down the order in last year's T20 World Cup before filling her boots in the WBBL.

Tammy Beaumont

Tests: 3 matches, 132 runs at 26.40
ODIs: 65 matches, 2125 runs at 40.86
T20Is: 69 matches, 1092 runs at 23.23

A key figure in England's batting unit since reinventing her game as a dashing opener over the last three years. No one has scored more ODI runs since 2016 (1918) than Beaumont. She was named one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year in March following her run-scoring feats which included a 47-ball T20I hundred against South Africa last season where she set a new record England tally of 628 runs. "I want to be the leading run-scorer again this year and have no problem in saying that publicly," she told the Daily Mirror earlier this year. "I'm the one putting the ­pressure on myself." In the 2017-18 Ashes Test she contributed more than 100 runs across the two innings and will be vital in repelling a strong Australia attack.

Alyssa Healy

Tests: 3 matches, 130 runs at 32.50
ODIs: 64 matches, 1065 runs at 24.76
T20Is: 92 matches, 1437 runs at 22.80

Healy has taken her game to a new level over the last 12 months, playing a central role in Australia's T20 World Cup triumph, excelling in front of and behind the stumps, which culminated in her being crowned the Belinda Clark medalist at the end of the 2018-19 Australia season. Ominously for England, she thinks there is more to come having spent her downtime since the end of the season working on further expanding her power hitting, "I'd like to think I'm still improving as a cricketer and have a lot to learn," she said before flying to England. Expect some chirp from behind the stumps as well from a player who isn't afraid to get involved in a feisty battle.

Kate Cross

Tests: 3 matches, 14 wickets at 14.92
ODIs: 21 matches, 26 wickets at 24.50
T20Is: 9 matches, 9 wickets at 21.22

Cross had a memorable start to her Ashes career with a matchwinning performance in the 2013-14 Ashes Test in Perth when she claimed match figures of 6 for 70 to secure a 61-run victory. That was followed by another six wickets in the 2014 Test against India and coupled with promising performances with the white ball she looked set for a lengthy stay in team. However, there have been huge challenges for Cross to overcome; last year she opened up on her battle with mental health which dated back to 2016 and almost led to her quitting. She made her comeback against New Zealand in 2018 and can play a key role in taking the pace-bowling pressure off the experienced pair of Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole.

Tayla Vlaeminck

Tests: uncapped
ODIs: 1 match, 1 wicket
T20Is: 1 match

The 20-year-old quick, with just two international appearances under her belt, could be a point of difference for Australia having overcome a disrupted season after a torn ACL in what has already been an injury-hit career that has included two knee reconstructions and a dislocated shoulder. "She'll be a big weapon for us, she's bowling fast and accurate," captain Meg Lanning said. "She put in a lot of hard work over the off-season, she didn't really have a break like most of us did so she's ready go. Katherine Brunt in the England side is pretty quick and she's up there with that pace. In our game it's a bit of a weapon and something extra and we feel Tayla really adds something to our squad."

Amy Jones

Tests: Uncapped
ODIs: 38 matches, 927 runs at 30.90
T20Is: 35 matches, 401 runs at 19.09

Like the men's sides, England are not short when it comes to wicketkeeper-batsmen. The world-class Sarah Taylor currently has the gloves but in Jones they have an excellent deputy and her batting skills alone are getting her in the team. So far 2019 has been a stellar year for her with 415 ODI runs at 46.11 and a strike-rate of 100.48 making her comfortably the leading scorer in the world. And she sees the wicketkeeping rivalry as healthy. "I've always known that if I'm going to be the first-choice keeper I've got to be good," she told the Guardian in March. "Now that I've been at a good standard for a few years I can push her to improve and we can see how good we can get."