ICC T20I Team of the Year 2021 Announced, Smriti Mandhana earns a Spot

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year for 2021. While the team consists of some prominent names of Women’s Cricket, what came as a surprise was the absence of the Australian players for the first time since the award category was introduced in 2017.

Chosen by ICC’s Voting Academy, the team is dominated by five players from England and has India’s Smriti Mandhana marking her presence for the third consecutive year, equalling it with Australia’s Megan Schutt who also made it to the team three consecutive times (2017,2018,2019) while Danni Wyatt also marked her second consecutive and overall, her third appearance in the team this year.

Below is the complete Playing XI-:

1. Smriti Mandhana (India)

Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana. Pic Credits: ICC

 

The star opener from India had a great 2021. Leading India’s T20I run-scorer for yet another year, Mandhana has also been nominated for Women’s T20I player of the year and Women’s Cricketer of the year award. The third-ranked T20I batter aggregated 255 runs with an innings of 70 off 51 balls which consisted of four boundaries hit in a span of just eight balls, being the highest in T20Is this year.

2. Tammy Beaumont (England)

Tammy Beaumont Leads England to 8 Wicket Victory over New Zealand. PC: englandcricket / Twitter
Tammy Beaumont Leads England to 8 Wicket Victory over New Zealand. PC: englandcricket / Twitter

 

The English batter has made it to all the five categories of the ICC Women’s award for 2021 that have been announced. Beaumont finished 2021 as the leading T20I run-scorer for her national side and third in the overall T20I tally for the year with 303 runs which included 3 50+ scores for her team, the highest being 97.

3. Danni Wyatt (England)

Danielle Wyatt completes 200 International Matches for England
Danielle Wyatt completes 200 International Matches for England

 

Joining Beaumont in opening the innings for England, Danni aggregated 252 runs in 9 matches at 31.50 last year. Though her only 50+ score was an unbeaten 89 which came against India, her power-hitting capability makes her a part of the best Women’s T20I playing XI for 2021.

4. Gaby Lewis (Ireland)

Gaby Lewis.
Gaby Lewis. PC: ICC

Marking the first appearance of an Irish woman in the T20I team of the year, the young Gaby Lewis finished 2021 as the second-highest T20I run-scorer. She aggregated 325 runs at 40.62 which includes the first T20I century by an Irish woman (105*) and saw her inclusion in the nominees for Women’s T20I player and Women’s Cricket of the year as well.

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5. Nat Sciver (c) (England)

Natalie Sciver. Women's T20 World Cup 2020
Natalie Sciver. Women’s T20 World Cup 2020

 

Leading the team is the English all-rounder Nat Sciver who is currently ranked as the second-best all-rounder of Women’s T20I. Also being nominated for the ICC Women’s T20I Player of the year award, Sciver scored 153 runs and took 10 wickets with her best bowling figure for the year being 2/25 while 55 was her highest with the bat. This is her second appearance in the T20I team of the year (the first being in 2018).

6. Amy Jones (wk) (England)

Amy Jones. Women's T20 World Cup 2020
Amy Jones. Women’s T20 World Cup 2020

 

England’s Amy Jones impressed everyone with her wicket-keeping skills last year. Chosen as the wicketkeeper for the team, Jones who majorly bats as the lower middle order batter, also exhibits the capability to smash some power-hitting shots which is visible from the 151 runs she got in the format.

7. Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa)

Laura Wolvaardt - Northern Superchargers - The Women's Hundred 2021
Laura Wolvaardt – Northern Superchargers – The Women’s Hundred 2021

 

The South African though got just one 50+ score last year but she contributed well to Proteas middle-order keeping the scorecard moving at a consistent pace. Her average for the year was 53.66 with a great strike rate of strike-rate of 161.

8. Marizanne Kapp (South Africa)

Marizanne Kapp
Marizanne Kapp

 

Wolvaardt’s teammate, all-rounder Marizanne Kapp has been one of the key players for South Africa. Though she appeared in just 6 T20Is last year but aggregated 100 runs and 8 wickets from them at 15.00. She has lived up to her team’s expectations both with the bat and the ball and has been a go-to player in close and crucial matches.

9. Sophie Ecclestone (England)

Photograph: Alex Davidson/Rex/Shutterstock
Sophie Ecclestone. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Rex/Shutterstock

The top-ranked T20I bowler, England’s Sophie Ecclestone has been one of the favorites among the spinners. She ended 2021 with 11 wickets from 9 T20I at 17.18 as well as completed her century of international wickets. In June 2021, she was adjudged as the Women’s Player of the Month.

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10. Loryn Phiri (Zimbabwe)

Representing Zimbabwe in their maiden appearance in ICC’s Women’s T20I Team of the year, Loryn Phiri was a surprise package last year. Finishing with the third-highest wickets of T20I, 16 wickets in 9 matches at 7.18, Phiri recorded her career-best figure of 5/6 which came against Botswana in September.

11. Shabnim Ismail (South Africa)

Shabnim Ismail. (Photograph by Mark Metcalfe/ Getty Images)
Shabnim Ismail. (Photograph by Mark Metcalfe/ Getty Images)

 

Recording her 2nd consecutive presence in the T20I team of the year, South Africa’s Shabnim Ismail is a delight to watch. Currently, the third-best bowler of women’s T20I, she was the leading wicket-taker for her team last year in just 6 matches she played. With 5/12 as her best spell of the year, Ismail took 11 wickets at 13.00.

Performance in 2021

Name Country Role Matches Runs Highest Score Wickets Best Spell Average
                Bat Bowl
Smriti Mandhana India Batter 9 255

(50s-2)

70 31.87
Tammy Beaumont England Batter 9 303

(50s-3)

97 33.66
Danni Wyatt England Batter 9 252 89* 31.50
Gaby Lewis Ireland Batter 10 325

(50s-1, 100-1)

105* 40.62
Nat Sciver England All-rounder 9 153

(50s-1)

55

 

10 2/25 19.12 20.20
Amy Jones England Wicketkeeper Batter 9 151

(8 innings)

43 25.16  
Laura Wolvaardt South Africa Batter 8 161

(50s-1)

53* 53.66
Marizanne Kapp South Africa All-rounder 6 100 36 8 3/24 16.66 15.00
Sophie Ecclestone England Bowler 9 28

(4 innings)

9* 11 3/35 14.00 17.18
Loryn Phiri Zimbabwe Bowler 9 16 5/6 7.18
Shabnim Ismail South Africa Bowler 6 11 5/12 13.00

Author of the poetry book ‘The Scent of Rhythm’, I am a passionate writer and a Sports enthusiast who writes on Cricket and plays Badminton.

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