England wicketkeeper Amy Jones has hailed the impact of new teammate Mahika Gaur after the former UAE star enjoyed a dream ODI debut against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Gaur, who made her England debut in the recent T20 series between the two teams having switched from the UAE, produced two stunning balls to demolish the stumps of both Sri Lanka openers in captain Chamari Athapaththu and Anushka Sanjeewani.
The 17-year-old left-armer, standing at an intimidating 1.91 metres tall, also claimed the final wicket of Udeshika Prabodhani as Sri Lanka were bowled out for just 106 by Heather Knight's side in Durham.
Gaur finished with 3-26 from 6.2 overs while fellow debutant Lauren Filer took 3-27 before England's batters coasted to a seven-wicket win with 32 overs to spare, bouncing back in style from their shock T20 series defeat to the Sri Lankans.
The second match of the series takes place at Northampton's Wantage Road on Tuesday and Jones has been highly impressed by what she has seen from the two newcomers.
“I thought they were great,” she said. “Until this series, I've never faced Mahika or kept to her, it feels like she's shot up out of nowhere. I've been so impressed with her, as has everybody.
“[She offers] something different with being a left-armer and her height. She swings the ball and she's really consistent for a young player. I'm really excited to see where she can get to in her career.
“With a bowler like Lauren, you're getting a catch every ball. I'm really enjoying keeping to her and I was impressed with her again. She's got something that not many people have in the pace that she has.
“She's definitely an impact player and how Heather used her in the Test match and even in the ODI was exactly how we want to use her – come on for short spells and just give it her all for a bit and make something happen.”
The pair have been given a chance to shine in the absence of several regulars, with captain Heather Knight and head coach Jon Lewis eager to stress test those further down the pecking order.
“When you are given opportunities like this, it can put a bit of extra pressure on you,” Jones said. “Especially as a young player thinking 'when other people come back am I still going to have a place?'.
“It can be very easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself so it's been so pleasing how they don't seem to be feeling the pressure.
“Whether they are or not, they seem like they're enjoying it and it's reflected in their performances which is great. With a younger team on the whole, it's great to give them the opportunity.”
After winning player of the match at Chester-le-Street, Gaur – who played 19 T20 Internationals for the UAE – said: “It was a great day, I really enjoyed myself out there and it was good to get a win as well.
“I have not played much 50-over cricket but I think there is more in it for the bowlers, as the batters are not going as hard at you [as in T20s].
“The main thing I have been told is to keep doing what I am best at, which is trying to swing the ball back in.”