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Megan Schutt laughs off England's 'ironic' pressure comments

Australia wrapped up the Ashes with two games remaining but have promised no let-up

AAP and ESPNcricinfo staff
Megan Schutt celebrates her 100th ODI wicket, Australia vs England, 1st ODI, Women's Ashes, Canberra, February 3, 2022

Megan Schutt celebrates her 100th ODI wicket  •  Getty Images

Australia pace bowler Megan Schutt fired back at her Ashes rivals after the hosts sealed victory in the multi-format series, saying "if there's anyone we can put pressure on it's England".
Schutt took issue with England captain Heather Knight's suggestion the Australians can crack under pressure before the first ODI in Canberra on Thursday night, labelling the comments "ironic".
Speaking after Australia's bowlers successfully defended a below-par 205 for 9 by rolling the visitors for 178, Schutt said her side had risen to the Ashes occasion against a team they knew they could get at.
"They came out in the media and they said something about us caving under pressure, which we thought was a bit ironic after they lost 6 for 27 in a Test," she said. "It's just the Ashes...every game comes to the wire. To come out and defend that total was pretty awesome from us.
"If there's anyone that we can put pressure on, it's England and tonight was one of those targets that was going to be hard for them to chase if we bowled well, and I think we did that."
Following the defeat on Thursday, Knight insisted England were able to match Australia but bemoaned a lack of "killer instinct" at crucial moments.
Schutt returned to Australia's XI, after being omitted from the Test side to give her a longer break between matches having recently had Covid-19, and said she was shaking she was that excited to be back on the field.
She picked up her 100th ODI wicket to become the second-fastest woman to reach that milestone behind Australia legend and former team-mate Cathryn Fitzpatrick.
"I didn't know that stat until Tahlia [McGrath] came up and gave me head rub and ruined my hair," Schutt said. "It's something I never thought I would achieve. I didn't think I was going to play cricket that long and stick around in his side … for me, that's an awesome achievement."
After pace partner Darcie Brown ripped through the English order with 4 for 34, Schutt said the Australians were poised to dominate for some time to come with the A-team having won five out six matches against England A across T20s and one-day matches.
"That's the plan," she said. "We speak about it all the time that our domestic system is the best in the world and I think that shines with how we perform, as well as our [Australia A] side.
"We've always got quality players coming through and for some reason, they just transition in so nicely. Every kid that seems to come up has their head screwed on, knows what they need to do and I think with absolute role clarity and a pretty good team culture that helps build performances."
Although the Ashes are now safely retained again by Australia they are determined not to let up on England during the final two ODIs in Melbourne. During the 2017-18 series England were able to claw the series back to 8-8 and this time the home side want to be ruthless with also having an eye on the World Cup where the two sides will meet in their opening game on March 5.
"I know we speak about one series at a time, but it is momentum into the World Cup at the end of the day," Schutt said. "We don't want to give them a sniff, so the next two games are going to be just as crucial for us."