A statistical report on Indian women’s test cricket

Its that period when the shorter format has gained a lot of success but the test cricket has been the oldest form in the world of cricket. Even in Women’s field, it has emerged from the early 1930s. The first women’s test match was played in 1934 between England and Australia. A women’s test match is a 4 day match unlike men’s 5 day match. But women’s test cricket took time to reach the shores of India. In 1973, Women’s Cricket Association of India was formed to promote women’s cricket in India.

A statistical report on Indian women's test cricket

The day finally arrived on 31st October 1976 when the doors of test cricket were opened for Indian women. India were scheduled to play its first ever test against West Indies at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore (now Bengaluru). India’s first test captain was Shantha Rangaswamy. This test match resulted in a draw. India’s first win came against the same opposition on 17th November 1976 in Moin-ul-Haq Stadium at Patna. This match saw a whooping crowd of 25,000. It was a proud moment for every Indian present in the stadium.

Shantha Rangaswamy was the first Indian Women Cricketer to score a century in test matches.

She scored it against New Zealand at Dunedin. She captained the side for 12 matches but managed to win only a single test. She was soon replaced by Diana Edulji to captain the side. She is said to be the greatest Indian woman cricketer of all time. She was a slow left-arm orthodox bowler who holds the record for delivering the most no. of balls by any woman cricketer in Women’s test history. She bowled over 5098 balls. She captained the side for 4 tests.

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India had a period to forget between 1996 to 2002 when they didn’t win a single test match. But on 19th March 2002, under the captain-ship of Anjum Chopra, the 9th test captain, India beat South Africa in South Africa to record India’s first overseas test win. She scored a match-winning 80 in that match. She captained India for 3 tests, winning 1 of them and 2 matches were drawn. During that season, a young girl named Mithali Raj made her test debut against South Africa at Lucknow. On 17th August 2002, at the age of 19 in her third test, she scored a record 214 against England at County ground, Staunton. The record was broken in 2004 when Kiran Baluch of Pakistan scored 242 against West Indies. Mithali was made the captain of the side in 2005. She led the side to its first ever test and series victory in England. She has led India so far in 6 tests winning 3 of them and losing 1.She has the highest winning % i.e. 50% so far among test captains.

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The most recent test was against South Africa on 16th of November 2014 at Mysore. On winning the toss, India elected to bat first and scored a mammoth 400 with centuries from Thirush Kamini (192) and Punam Raut (130). South Africa women managed to score 234 in their reply to India’s first innings total with Mignon du Preez top scoring with 102. Harmanpreet Kaur took a five-fer and  Rajeshwari Gayakwad took 4 wickets. South Africa was enforced follow on and were bundled out for 132. Harmanpreet Kaur took 4 wickets in the second innings. India won the match by an innings and 34 runs. 

India till date have played 36 tests. Won 5 of them, lost 5 and drew 25 from 1976 to 2014.The result of each of these matches can be viewed by using the link– 

Sandhya Agarwal is India’s all time leading scorer with 1110 runs. Diana Edulji is India’s highest wicket taker with 63 wickets. Neetu David has best bowling figures in an innings, having taken 8 wickets for 53 runs against England. Till date, 11 Women have captained India and 82 women have represented India in test cricket.

          The following chart represents India’s leading run scorers.

Sr. No.

Player

Runs

Average

1

Sandhya Agarwal

1,110

50.45

2

Shantha Rangaswamy

750

32.60

3

Shubhangi Kulkarni

700

23.33

4

Mithali Raj

663

51.00

5

Gargi Banerji

614

27.90

6

Sudha Shah

601

18.78

7

Anjum Chopra

548

30.44

8

Hemlata Kala

503

50.30

 

         
     The following chart represents India’s leading wicket takers.     

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Sr. No.

Player

Wickets

Average

1

Diana Edulji

63

25.77

2

Shubhangi Kulkarni

60

27.45

3

Neetu David

41

18.90

4

Jhulan Goswami

40

16.62

5

Shashi Gupta

25

31.28

6

Shantha Rangaswamy

21

31.61

7

Sharmila Chakraborty

19

22.10

8

Purnima Rau

15

21.26


In the last 4 years, India hasn’t played any test match. This is a very poor stat in context of BCCI trying to promote women’s cricket. If we take the example of women’s Ashes, Australia and England play a test match every 2 years against each other. Therefore it is the duty of our board to arrange bilateral test match series. It will give the girls confidence to take the sport seriously and pursue a career in it. We hope that the number of test matches increases in near future and India plays more number of test matches to promote Women’s cricket in the country. What do you think? Comment below your thoughts. 

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