Bolton, who was unbeaten across the opening two games of 50-over WNCL with scores of 125 not out and 93 not out, was today named in the Southern Stars’ One Day and Test squads, alongside State captain and fellow top-order batter Elyse Villani.
The pair has been in dominating form, with Bolton’s performances complemented by a 139-run knock from Villani on Friday in WA’s win over South Australia at Adelaide Oval No.2.
Villani said it was a positive to go into the Ashes in strong form, but cautioned it would mean little when the two great rivals of Australia and England met in the series, which begins with an ODI in Brisbane on 22 October.
“I’m feeling pretty good – I think all the batters had a pretty good hitout over the weekend – but form counts for nothing once it starts,” Villani said.
“But it’s nice to know we’re all in a pretty good headspace.
“I’m back to playing an aggressive style of cricket and I know that it’s not going to come off every time, but when it does, I know it can help the team win.”
The Ashes will again be decided on a points system across the three ODIs, one day-night Test and three T20 Internationals.
Australia will be preparing to face an intimidating England outfit in buoyant form, following its Women’s World Cup win earlier this year.
That campaign marked the first time since 1993 that England had defeated Australia in a World Cup, when it triumphed in a Bristol nailbiter by three runs.
The Australians then tumbled out to India in the semi-finals.
It was a performance from England that had at its core two familiar faces to the West Australians, with Bolton and Villani having played for the Perth Scorchers alongside key wicket-takers Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole.
Bolton said the pair would be crucial to the visiting England side’s fortunes and the experience alongside them would hold the batters in good stead.
“They’ve got two of the best bowlers in the world in Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole, who really attack up front,” Bolton said.
“If they take early wickets, the English are really up and about.
“We’ve also seen that they’re more than capable of scoring heavily – with a couple of 300-plus scores – so our bowlers are really going to have to work hard.
“We had a couple of pre-Ashes battles in the nets during WBBL, but I think now, with the WBBL and international players coming in and out, it’s really good, because we get an understanding of how they perform and we get to face them a lot more.
“As an opening batter, I’m not as scared to face those two as I probably would have been a few years ago.”
WA pair Piepa Cleary and Heather Graham were also named in a Cricket Australia XI squad to take on England in two Tour Matches.
2017 COMMONWEALTH BANK WOMEN'S ASHES SERIES
22 October – Allan Border Field, Brisbane
26 October – Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour
29 October – Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour
9-12 November – North Sydney Oval, North Sydney
17 November – North Sydney Oval, North Sydney
19 November – Manuka Oval, Canberra
21 November – Manuka Oval, Canberra