Hindi mein: “DER AAE, DURUST AAE” In English: “BETTER LATE THEN NEVER”
The ICC released their Women’s Team of the Year. But before we get to understand the selected players, I feel we should understand the selection panel first, so that we understand the value of this team.
The selection panel comprises of 3 names, all Women Cricketers. Who are they?
- The Legendary Indian, Pune born girl, is now 57, & has played in more than 50% of the Test matched Indian women have played till date, & has picked five 5 wicket hauls & a 100 & a 50 each under her name in the process. She was the member of the very 1st test match Indian Women played, & after retirement from cricket, she became a cricket administrator and was the secretary of WCAI until WCAI got merged into BCCI in 2006. Currently, she is part of ICC Women’s Cricket Committee representing Asian Cricket Council. She is Shubhangi Kulkarni, the architect of Indian Women’s Cricket.
- A Mix of West Indian Father (where she got her cricketing genes), an Australian Mother, born in England. Around average Cricketing carrier, but her real innings started after retirement. A dedicated Sports lover, not just limited to Commentary for Cricket matches, but also writes for multiple sports & sports events, in her blog site http://www.meljones.com.au/. Australian National, Melanie Jones.
- This British Lady was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2004 & later in 2006 she was promoted to Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) “For services to Cricket”. A Bowling all rounder, who batted right handed & bowled left handed, & has a 5 wicket haul in both forms, Test as-well-as ODIs. British girl, Clare Connor.
Now that we have established the value of our selectors, we believe that they know & love the sport very much. So when they vouch for a player, we should accept that, that player is good, but people like us always have a Why in our mind’s J. So let’s look at who they have selected, and understand why they have been selected who they have selected.
The team majorly All-rounders, is a mix of experience & youth, with an average age of the 25 years. New Zealand Wicket keeper Rachel Priest, being the eldest at 31 & Indian Left hand Batter Smriti Mandhana being the youngest at 20, who also happened to be the only lefthander of the team, & the only Indian.
The team has 1 girl each from India, Ireland & South Africa; 2 girls each from England, Australia & West Indies and 3 girls from New Zealand. The West Indian captain Stafanie Taylor is named the captain of the team & as mentioned earlier New Zealander Veteran Wicketkeeper, given the responsibility of keeping the wickets for this team.
Before we try to understand why every Individual has featured in this list, I would like to highlight a few things. Unlike their male counterparts who have a Test Team of the Year, ODI Team of the Year as well as T20 Team of the Year; Women’s team has no such specific bifurcation, it’s just The Team of the Year. But it is safe to say the team is ODI cum T20 team. As ICC has quite evidently/unofficially discontinued Women’s Test matches. As there were only 2 test matches in 2014, 1 in 2015 & 0 in 2016. But then that is a different topic in all.
Let’s, come back to our Team of the Year. Now this is the 1st ever Team of the year for the ladies, so I have taken the privilege of reading the whole carriers of the ladies listed. So here we go.
- Suzie Bates: This prolific 29 year old New Zealander Batting all-rounder is more than just an all-rounder. She is a Sports person by heart. She has also represented her country in the 2008, Beijing Olympic Games.
Suzie, has played 95 ODIs & 84 T20s till date & has scored collectively over 5 & a half thousand runs at an average of 41 & 27 respectively, with 7 ODI centuries, with a highest score of 164, & 21 half ODI centuries and 13 T20 half centuries, with a highest score of an unbeaten 94.
Suzie is a very good medium pacer too, with 70 wickets in ODIs with a best of 4 for 7 & 48 in T20s with a best of 4 for 26. With an average of 30 & 23 respectively, she is more than a handy bowler.
- Rachel Priest: This veteran New Zealander has played 77 ODIs & 68 T20s, & gathered a total of 2203 runs collectively, with an average of 29 & 17 respectively. Has scored just 2 centuries & 7 half centuries in ODIs and just 1 half centuries in T20s.
That’s just about/above average you may say, but that is not her field of expertise. Her skill lies behind the wickets, & that is what she does the best.
She has a total of 99 catches & 48 Stumpings collectively, & That is Impressive, & when you combine these statistics with her about average batting average, it makes a big contribution towards the team.
- Smriti Mandhana: This prolific Indian Left hander opener, just 20 years of age, who I personally like to call “The Next Big Thing”, has made a mark on the International scenario (without forgetting to mention, a big mark on National front). She made her debut at the age of almost 17 against Bangladesh where she was the highest scorer in the match.
Her carrier has never looked back after that. This technically sound Batter till date has played in 23 ODIs & 27 T20s and has scored over 1100 collective runs, with 1 century & 5 half centuries in ODIs and 1 T20 Half century.
But I think her best format is Test. She is 1 of the lucky few ladies who have got the privilege to play Test matches. Her temperament & sound technique will aid her to achieve higher horizons, provided ICC & BCCI do something about it.
- Stafanie Taylor: This Hard Hitting West Indian captain, as mentioned earlier, is also named the captain of this team & she is given those duties because she is very good at it. Stafanie made her debut in 2008 against Ireland.
Till date has scored a total of over 3200 runs collectively, which includes 5 Centuries & 29 half centuries in 98 ODIs with a highest score of 171 (which happens to be the 3rd highest individual ODI score) & an average of 44, plus 19 T20 half centuries at an impressive average of 38.
In a complete all round performance she has also taken a total of 181 wickets, which includes 5, 4 wickets hauls. But she doesn’t stop there; she has also held on to a total of 75 catches.
With stats like these she can be considered in most of the Men’s teams.
Leading her team to the 2016 T20 World-Cup is the Golden Feather in her cap
- Meg Lanning: Nicknamed as “The MegaStar”. This 25 year old has the highest individual women’s T20 score 126. She shares the spot with Charlotte Edwards for the maximum ODI centuries, 9 & with 10 half centuries, has a phenomenal 50 to 100 conversion ratio, & that too in only 55 ODIs & an average of 50. Apart from the 126, Meg also has 10 half centuries in 70 T20s, with an average of 32. She also holds the record for the youngest centurion (male or female) at the age of 18 years & 9 months.
This Ausi, has a knack of creating records. In 2014, she became the youngest Ausi Captain. And how well did the captaincy work for her as well as the team. That year she was Instrumental in Australia Women retaining the Title for the 3rd consecutive year, as she gathered a total of 257 runs at a strike rate of 159.
- Ellyse Perry: This lanky Ausi can easily be cast as a model. But that was not the options that fate pushed her to choose from. It was Football or Cricket that she had to chose between. Probably the only female player to have represented the nation in 2 different Sports formats of World Cup (Cricket & Football).
Australia has won 3 consecutive T20 World-Cups, 2010, 2012 & 2014. Ellyse has played in all of them & picked 8, 6 & 8 wickets respectively. Not only T20, but she has also been part of the ODI World Cup winning squad in 2009 & 2013 picking up 6 & 8 wickets respectively.
Ellyse till date has picked 113 ODI, 77 T20 & 27 Test wickets, in 82, 82 & 6 matched respectively, and has 8, 4 wicket hauls till date. She also has 2850+ runs in her kitty, which makes her a “Must Have“ in any side, as she has regularly contributed with the bat too.
- Heather Knight: This 26 year old English presently the captain of the England Women’s Cricket Team. Heather is a multi talented cricketer. She came in the team as an opening batter & a handy Medium pacer, now after a Hamstring injury has made herself a valuable Off-break bowler.
With 11 half centuries, from 66 ODIs, & a respective Avg of 32.6. No centuries yet but has a 5 wicket haul. Her T20 stats consists of 363 runs from 36 matched, with a strike rate of over 100.
But her most notable knock came in the longest format of cricket, when she scored her maiden century of 157 against Australia, for which she spent about 7 hours on the pitch.
- Deandra Dottin: Just like the Ausi Meg Lanning, Dottin also has a one up over the men. She holds the record for the fastest T20 century (38 balls), which comprises of 5 boundries & 9 maximums, silencing all the critics of women’s cricket, criticizing that women’s cricket lacked power. She also holds the record for the fastest T20 half century amongst women (22 balls).
Dottin is another of the multitasker as she is also good in other power sports like Javelin, Shotput & Discus throw.
She has played 90+ matches each in ODI & T20; and has scored over 3000 runs collectively. Interestingly she has 17 ODI half centuries but no century.
She is not just a hard hitting batter but also a handy medium pace bowler & has picked 89 wickets, which include 3, 4 wicket hauls in ODI & 1 in T20.
- Sune Luus: This South African Legi, just 21 years of age, but has already been playing for 4 years now, & has made her mark in the international circuit. With 3, 5 wicket hauls & 2, 4 wicket hauls in ODIs with a best of 6 wickets for 36 runs and 1, 5 wicket & 4 wicket haul each in T20s, with a best figure of 5 wickets for 8 runs.
Sune is also a valuable lower order batter, & has scored over 700 runs which includes 4 ODI half centuries with a best of 60 notout.
Incidentally she is 1 of the only 2 female cricketers, to have captured the incredible feat of having scored a half century & picking 5 wickets in the same match.
She has captained the South Africa Women’s under 19 team, & it wouldn’t surprise me if by 2019 she is handed the captaincy of the regular team, potentially making her the youngest captain, for she has a good Cricketing mind.
- Anya Shrubsole: This present England Women’s Vice captain has made her ODI & T20 debut in 2008, with a Player of the match (T20) against South Africa Women. She was also awarded as the Promising Female Player that year. But has been in & out of the team ever since.
Until the 2014 World Cup, where she ended-up taking 13 wickets in the tournament, for which she won the Player of the Tournament. Even though England failed to lift the Cup, her efforts were recognized by her national selectors, & she was made the permanent member ever since.
Her carrier includes a 5 wicket haul each in ODIs & T20s. She also has in all 8, 4 wicket hauls.
- Leigh Kasperek: Born in Scotland, played for Western Australia & finally landed in the New Zealand National Team at an age of 23. Fairly late compared to rest of the squad.
But ever since, she has made a habit of taking wickets. She has played 13 T20s till date & has impressively picked 25 wickets of them. She also has 13 wickets of 9 ODIs.
Her best figures in T20 is 4 wickets for just 7 runs against a strong opposition like Australia & in ODIs 4 for 27 against Sri Lanka.
Even though she is claimed as a handy lower order batter, there is nothing much really to show on that front, but bowling figures like hers, she can conveniently get into any side just as a bowler.
- Kim Garth: The second youngest in this squad & the only player from Ireland, (or from any associate nation if I may call it, as per ICC norms)
She Opens the Batting for the country & has the numbers to show. With 33 ODIs played, she has scored almost 450 runs with 2 half centuries (best of 72 notout) against South Africa. Her best Bowling has come against Bangladesh with 4 wickets for 11 runs.
But the shortest format has been her best result area. Having played just 28 matches, she has scored over 350 runs with an avg. of 21, & a highest score of 38 notout against Pakistan. Her bowling figures have also been better in this format, with a total of 30 wickets, with best figures of 3 for 6 against Netherland.
Having completed a basic study of the selected squad, why stop to only 12 members, as any squad is made of 15 players. So without getting into much of details of every player let’s look at a few more names who I noticed during this period.
Ekta Bisht/Anam Amin: Both Left arm Orthodox. Ekta is Indian & Anam is Pakistani. They both have a habit of picking up wickets, (The Indian has more of it) but then the Pakistani is relatively less experienced. Point is they both pick wickets. The objective of having either of the ladies in the team is to add a little variety to the bowling which otherwise is all right handed, may that be pacers or spinners.
Mithali Raj: Need I speak about “The Queen Bee”. The ODI captain of India has been in a rocking form in the last year may that be the series against Srilanka or the T20 World Cup or the Asia Cup. She has scored loads of runs. The only possible reason I could think of why she could be left out may be her age.
Bismah Mahroof: Recently named as the Captain of the Pakistan Women’s team. This 25 year old has been around for quite some time. Possibly she might be the youngest international player when she made her debut in Dec 2006. An avg of 26 in both the formats i.e. T20s & ODIs is fairly good. While Smrithi Mandhana is the only left hand Batter in this team, another left hand batter could be very useful.
But then these are just my views, & I may be wrong, as I’m not an expert, just a Female Cricket Enthusiast.
Do comment about what you feel about the post.