Charlotte Edwards believes England are 'favourites' ahead of women's Ashes series
Last Updated: 15/10/17 4:26pm
Charlotte Edwards believes England will travel to Australia as "favourites" ahead of the upcoming Ashes series on the back of their World Cup-winning summer.
A 15-strong party will head down under later this month aiming to regain the Ashes following their series defeat on home soil last time around.
Edwards, the former England captain, thinks the momentum they have picked up following their victory in the ICC Women's World Cup will provide huge belief within the side under head coach Mark Robinson.
"England are favourites," Edwards told Sportswomen. "They will have taken so much confidence from beating Australia in the World Cup but also winning the World Cup.
"They will go there really confident that they can do well having won the last Ashes series there. A lot of the players who played in that series are on this tour but they will be wary of Australia. It's all set up to be an absolute cracker."
England leapfrogged their rivals in the ICC rankings following their World Cup success and Edwards sees this as being a source of motivation for the holders.
She said: "That will hurt Australia going into this series. It will bring a little extra pressure to England going into this big series. Australia will be the wounded animal after the World Cup performing badly and then with England winning the World Cup."
Meanwhile, Edwards insists the absence of influential captain Meg Lanning, through injury, will offer the hosts an opportunity to "really step up" as they have a "point to prove".
"They have got to look out for Ellyse Perry" said Edwards. "She is absolutely world class - she will be a player England will really target in this Ashes series. She has been the player of the series in the last two but for England it will be Tammy Beaumont - she has been absolutely outstanding.
"She has had such a brilliant 12 months so she will be a player England will be looking to really lead the way with the bat."
The series will be decided, as in the last three women's Ashes series, on a points basis across three formats - with four available for a Test match victory and two for a draw, and two for victory in any of the limited-overs fixtures.
Edwards believes whichever side get accustomed to the conditions the quickest will improve their chances of victory and highlights the importance of the touring side's bowling attack. .
She added: "It's how quickly you adapt between the formats because the three games of the ODI start the series and I think it is important you start well but equally the test match is worth four points.
"England's best chance of winning this series is through their bowling attack - Anya Shrubsole, Katherine Brunt and their young spinner Sophie Ecclestone is going to be crucial to England regaining the Ashes."
Australia have named Lauren Cheatle and Tahlia McGrath in their squad for the forthcoming series and Edwards has admitted there a couple of interesting selections for the hosts.
"There's a couple of surprises actually, Edwards said. "They have brought back Lauren Cheatle, a left-arm seamer. Probably the biggest surprise, not to me, is Talia Magragh.
"I played with her last year out in South West Australia - a young all-rounder and I tipped her then to play for Australia and it's probably happened sooner than I thought but a good selection for Australia."