England wrapped up two series victories in New Zealand to sign off their winter. But, there’s still plenty of talking points going into the summer, with a T20 World Cup around the corner. Here’s five things England learnt from the New Zealand tour.

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Maia Bouchier is the first-choice T20I opener

Going into the tour, the biggest question England had to answer was over their opening partnership. With Tammy Beaumont back in the T20I squad and Danni Wyatt unavailable until the fourth match, a straight shootout between Beaumont and Sophia Dunkley looked likely to dominate the early part of the tour.

But Bouchier flew under the radar. Her 95 against Sri Lanka last summer and impressive domestic numbers up the order for the past couple of years, coupled with the absences of several top order batters, were enough to earn her the No.3 spot for the first T20I. The 43 not out she scored in that game in partnership with Heather Knight was a morsel of what was to come. A 47-ball 71 in the third was enough to replace both Beaumont and Dunkley when Wyatt came back in, before 91 in the fourth crowned a breakthrough series.

That run of success also pencilled her in for the opener spot alongside Beaumont in the ODI series. While the runs didn’t flow over to the longer format, she’s done enough to start the summer as England’s incumbent second opener.

Still questions over batting stability

The absence of the WPL lot provided a three-match window of opportunity for younger players with a chance of making up the squad numbers for the World T20 later this year. Beyond Bouchier, they weren’t able to take it.

The defeat in the third T20I spoke volumes of how volatile England’s batting order can be when none of their senior players come through. But before then, in the first two matches, there were tremors. In both games, without Knight’s innings’ England would’ve been in a losing position. In the final ODI of the series, even with Amy Jones’ steadying hand and a lineup packed with experience, the loss of one wicket led to losing 4-13.

Collapses happen, but the regularity with which they’re happening should be nagging. No matter the series result, they make it hard to build the consistency required for this side to make the next leap.

When will Alice Capsey kick on?

Alice Capsey is the brightest young talent England have. Her potential is huge and it’s not a question if but when she plays the innings or strings together consistency which delivers on that potential. But that ‘when’ is still a question. Her dismissal in the fourth T20I, holing out after mistiming a big shot, is becoming repetitive and, in a low chase, unnecessary. It also reflective of England as a side, all the ingredients are there, the consistency needs to follow.

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Filer makes case for second-choice seam spot

On T20I debut in the first match of the series, Lauren Filer went for 22 runs off her first two overs. She wasn’t brought back on to bowl. With Mahika Gaur not on the tour, aside from Lauren Bell, Filer was the only other specialist quick in the squad.

Assuming England go with a three-spin attack in Bangladesh, that will leave them room for two seamers, Bell being inked in as one. Filer’s pace gives her a point of difference that none of the other hopefuls for the squad have. When she returned for the final match of the series, the plan she stuck to made more sense. She dragged her length back and targeted the batters, finishing with an economy of 5.5 and having built pressure that created wicket-taking opportunities. While she hasn’t nailed down a place by any means, she showed the difference she can offer in that final match and kept herself as an option in England’s competitive fast-bowler jigsaw.

Jones’s ODI strength keeps T20I questions at bay

Questions over Amy Jones’ T20I position have been brewing for some time. Despite rebuilding from a difficult 2022 in the the T20 World Cup and against Australia, in 12 innings since the first Ashes T20I she has a high score of 25 and has been dismissed before reaching double figures in five of them. She hasn’t passed 50 in a T20I since 2020.

In the four T20Is in New Zealand that she was required to bat, her high score was nine. More significantly, in both the second and third games her wicket came as part of middle-order collapses that, in the third, did cost England the match and very much could’ve in the second. While those questions should be unavoidable in the T20Is, England have her to thank for a large part of their ODI series win. Regardless of the runs she scored in the ODI series, her T20I performance presents England with a dilemma going into the summer.