England finally have faith they can win the Women’s Ashes for the first time since 2014, says World Cup winner Alex Hartley.
Hartley credits England’s aggressive mindset under head coach Jon Lewis as the key to their success.
England won the T20 leg of the multi-format series by beat Australia by five wickets at Lord’s on Saturday.
This is the first series Australia have lost since 2017, but they still lead the points-based multi-format series 6-4.
“The way this team believes in themselves, it’s almost like they’re thinking, ‘what have we been doing all these years!?'” Hartley told the BBC’s Test Special.
“Australia are human and they make mistakes.
“Yes, they are a fantastic cricket team and the best in the world and yes, they don’t lose many cricket games, but England have confidence in themselves and that’s what Jon Lewis has done.”
Lewis, who was appointed head coach in November 2022, started with a series win against the West Indies in December before taking charge of a disappointing semi-final exit in the T20 Word Cup in February.
England then went down 6-0 in the Ashes before pulling out closely fought victories in front of record crowds at The Oval and Lord’s to keep the series alive with three one-day internationals remaining.
Every match is still a must-win for England, as another win for Australia would see them back in the Ashes – and in a format where they have won 41 from their last 42 matches.
“It will take something special and extraordinary for England to win the Ashes for the first time since 2014,” Hartley said. “But they fight and scrap.”
England’s aggression was highlighted by Alice Capsey’s stunning 46 from just 23 balls, including two sixes, which lit up Lord’s on a historic night for women’s cricket in north London.
And all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt, whose steady run-a-ball 25 anchored England’s chase of 119 in 14 overs, says England’s approach will not change in the format.
“The confidence we take away from The Oval is very important,” Sciver-Brunt told Sky Sports.
“We are going to a new format now, and the personnel may change but the philosophy will not.
“Having to win every game makes it simple for us – there’s no other way to play.”
From an Australian perspective, the loss is unfamiliar territory.
They have dominated the world game for the best part of a decade, holding world titles in both white-ball formats and winning the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
“Australia will be stunned by the series of losses,” said former Australia batter Alex Blackwell in the BBC Test Match Special.
“They haven’t felt it for a long time. I’ve seen England scrap, and that’s something Australia usually do.
“England has really shown that there is change [between the sides].”
In typically honest fashion, Australia captain Alyssa Healy said the defeats were a “kick up the bum” for her side, saying England played “braver” cricket.
The series continues on Wednesday in Bristol, the gap allowing England’s players to enjoy some Wimbledon relaxation on one of their days off.