The year has been a busy yet decent one for India women. Starting with wins to ending the year with personal conflicts, fans had a lot to discover. 2018 observed two significant tournaments, Asia Cup on one side of the spectrum and World T20 at the other end. Let’s go down the memory lane and have a series by series recap.
FEBRUARY 2018: INDIA WOMEN IN SOUTH AFRICA
India women started their game season this year in February in South Africa. The ODI series of 3 matches then followed by a T20 series of 5 matches. The ODI series witnessed a century by Smriti Mandhana and 4 wickets hauls by Jhulan Goswami and Poonam Yadav. As a result, India clinched the series by 2-1. Consistent runs scored by Mithali Raj in the T20s lead India to a yet again win by 3-1, with one match being called off due to rain.
MARCH 2018: AUSTRALIA WOMEN IN INDIA and TRI SERIES AMONG INDIA, AUSTRALIA AND ENGLAND
The 3 match ODI series did not prove to be the best of the time for Indian team as they lost to Australia, recording not even a single win against them. Then the tri series among India, Australia and England, won by Australia had India winning only a single match against England giving women in blue a hard time at their own home.
APRIL 2018: ENGLAND WOMEN IN INDIA
The bad break ended for India women with the ODI series against England. India women sealed the series, winning by 2-1. Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj and Deepti Sharma with the bat and Poonam Yadav with the bowl put up a good show for the fans before their long wait for the Asia Cup to be played in June.
JUNE 2018: ASIA CUP IN MALAYSIA
Indian women were the favourites to win the Asia Cup as they have won all the six Asia Cup editions till now. Indian team remained unbeaten in the league matches and made their way into the finals against Bangladesh women after beating Pakistan in semi-finals. However, in the nail biting, last ball match, India lost the match and the title to Bangladesh.
SEPTEMBER 2018: INDIAN WOMEN IN SRI LANKA
A bi-lateral series of 3 ODIs and 5 T20s kept Indian team busy for the whole September month. A half century by Smriti Mandhana and a century by Mithali Raj made the team to easily lock the ODI series by a 2-1 win. Stellar performances by bat and bowl made the women in blue to clean sweep Sri Lanka Women by 4-0, 2nd T20 being cancelled due to rain.
NOVEMBER 2018: WORLD T20 IN WEST INDIES
All eyes were on winning the trophy of the biggest T20 tournament. Everything seemed rosy when India women won all the group watches to make their way into semi-finals against England women. Losing to England by 8 wickets with this just two steps away from the trophy was a heartbreak for the team and for the fans back at home. The feud between Mithali Raj and Coach Ramesh Powar became public and came out as a shock for the fans because Mithali was also kept away from playing the semi-finals.
All this breaks down to 2018 being a balanced year with many wins and some loses. Next, Team India would start the season in 2019 with a 3 match ODI and T20 series in New Zealand against the hosts from 24th January to 10th February.