India women cricket team rose to fame at the 2017 World Cup – despite a final loss. (Source: AP)
The Indian Women’s Cricket Team continued their upward curve to emerge as one of the stronger forces in international cricket after finishing second on the ICC ODI rankings in 2019. Senior members Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami proved their mettle owing to their vast experience, while the youngsters in return aided the side with match-winning contributions and thus helping the side make a resounding impact in the global arena.
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) December 30, 2019
Here are some of the best achievements by the Indian Women’s cricket team:
India whitewash West Indies in T20Is
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 21, 2019
Harmanpreet Kaur-led India unit completed a whitewash over West Indies on their home soil in a five-match T20I series in November. It was in this series that 15-year-old Shafali Verma showcased her batting class by scoring 73 and 63* respectively in the opening two matches of the series. The Rohtak girl also found support from others, particularly by swashbuckling opener Smriti Mandhana and the skipper herself, who ensured the team finished the year on a spectacular note.
The bowling unit was led by another youngster Radha Yadav, who claimed seven wickets in the series. The 19-year-old found great assistance from another slow bowler, Deepti Sharma, who bagged eight wickets in four games.
Shafali Verma: Youngest Indian to score a half-century
The explosive 15-year-old Shafali Verma scored her maiden half-century in the first T20I against West Indies Women today in St Lucia. Shafali is the youngest Indian ever to score an int'l fifty???? #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/O2MfVdNBOv
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) November 10, 2019
15-year-old Shafali would have never thought that she would one day break the record held by India’s batting legend Sachin Tendulkar. During the first T20I against West Indies in November, the batswoman played a blistering knock of 73 in 49 deliveries, which included six boundaries and four maximums. In this match-winning performance, she also eclipsed Tendulkar’s record of being the youngest Indian to slam a half-century in international cricket. Shafali achieved the feat at the age of 15 years and 285 days, while the previous record held by Tendulkar was at 16 years and 214 days old.
In the process, she also went on to become the second-youngest player to score a half-century in T20I format among both the genders.
Poonam Yadav conferred with prestigious Arjuna Award
#ArjunaAward for Poonam Yadav ?
— Doordarshan Sports (@ddsportschannel) August 29, 2019
The year 2019 also saw India’s leg-spinner Poonam Yadav receive the prestigious Arjuna Award by President Ram Nath Kovind on National Sports Day. The bowler who has so far made 108 appearances in both 50 and 20-over format has registered 157 wickets under her name. In the year 2018, the 28-year-old scalped 35 wickets in 25 T20Is, the most by any player. She also became the 11th women player and the first from her state (Uttar Pradesh) to be conferred with the Arjuna Award.
Jhulan Goswami: Leading wicket-taker in ODIs
Jhulan Goswami made her international debut in 2002 against England. (AP/File Photo)
Hailing from Chakdah, a small town in the Nadia district of West Bengal, Jhulan Goswami made her international debut in 2002 against England. Since then, the seamer has led her side to many glories, while tumbling several records on her 17-year-old long journey. The 37-year-old is currently the leading wicket-taker in the 50-over format. She scaled the feat in her 153rd ODI appearances, overtaking Australia’s Cathryn Fitzpatrick record of 180 wickets. Goswami has so far featured in 182 ODIs and has 225 wickets under her kitty.
Mithali Raj: Lets her bat do the talking
Mithali Raj has played 209 ODIs. (Source: BCCI Women/Twitter)
Former India skipper Mithali Raj is another candidate, who has helped her side clinch several glories in the global arena. The 37-year-old, who announced retirement from T20Is earlier this year, holds the record for scoring the most number of runs in the 50-over format. The right-handed batter has played 209 ODIs, more than any other player, and with a batting average of slightly above 50, has amassed 6888 runs in her illustrious career.
Smriti was also named in ICC Women’s ODI and T20I team of the year. The ODI team also featured Jhulan, Shikha Pandey, and Poonam, while Deepti and Radha made it to the T20I Playing XI.