Alice Capsey: Alex Hartley praises 18-year-old England batter

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Eighteen-year-old Alice Capsey is “the best talent I have seen for a long time in English cricket”, says former England spinner Alex Hartley.

Capsey hit an unbeaten 38 from just 24 balls as England beat India in the third and final Twenty20 in Bristol.

The right-hander played shots all around the ground to demonstrate why she is considered one of England’s brightest young talents.

“For someone so young, she just looks so calm under pressure,” said Hartley.

Despite only chasing 123 to win and secure a series victory, England stuttered slightly in the middle overs after an opening partnership of 70 between Danni Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley, who made 49.

After watching Dunkley and her captain Amy Jones depart in quick succession, Capsey continued to take the attack to India’s bowlers to lead England to victory with 10 balls to spare.

Casey burst onto the scene during The Hundred in 2021 when she played a key role in Oval Invincibles’ triumph, and Hartley credits England’s professional domestic set-up with her immediate success at the international level.

“Playing in The Hundred means she is already used to playing in front of those big crowds, so by the time she made her debut and got to the Commonwealth Games she had already been in that situation,” said World Cup winner Hartley.

“The domestic competitions are so important for making the young players feel more at home on the international stage.”

It is Capsey’s calmness at the crease that stands out considerably, with very little sign of nerves as she plays audacious reverse sweeps and powerful shots down the ground with such confidence.

“She just looks in control every time she steps onto the field,” said Hartley. “She is so confident and is so extroverted in the way she bats, when she is actually so shy off the field!”

Capsey also gained praise from former England captain and legendary batter Charlotte Edwards.

“Being able to get the side home is something I always look out for in a batter and that will give her extra confidence,” said Edwards on Sky Sports. “It is something that Sophia Dunkley will look at and say ‘I should have done that tonight’ but I didn’t, and Capsey stood up.”

It has been a promising series for England’s youngsters, who were playing in the absence of experienced and world-class players Heather Knight, Nat Sciver and Katherine Brunt.

Freya Kemp, 17, starred in England’s defeat in the second T20, smashing 51 not out from just 36 balls.

“We have missed the experience of those senior players in some areas,” Hartley added. “But the way the teenagers have stepped up has just been so impressive. There are very promising signs.”

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