Dubai: Veteran India players Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami featured in the ICC ‘ODI Team of the Year’ for women after they extended their consistent run in international cricket.
The ICC Team of the Year recognises the achievements of exceptional players who impressed with their on-field exploits in a calendar year.
The 39-year-old Raj, the veteran India batter and captain, amassed the same number of runs as England opener Tammy Beaumont and at exactly the same average. But her 503 runs came when the Indian team struggled as a unit, making her contribution even more important. She didn’t score any century this year but made a total of six half-centuries.
Long-time pace spearhead Goswami, who is also 39, is still proving herself to be a force to reckon with. She claimed a total of 15 wickets in 2021 and maintained an excellent economy rate of 3.77 as well. An experienced bowler who can keep runs in check, and pick up wickets at the same time, Goswami is an asset for any side, the ICC said in its appreciation for the Indian. With 340 ODI scalps, Jhulan, who is also an ICC Women’s Cricket of the Award winner, leads the tally for most wickets in the international arena.
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Raj and Goswami are the only two Indian players to have featured in the side captained by England skipper Heather Knight. The team has three players from South Africa, two each from England and West Indies and one from Australia. Biopics are being made on both Raj and Goswami. The two seasoned cricketers are now looking forward to this year’s upcoming ODI World Cup in New Zealand.
Knight, the England captain has been a vital cog of their middle-order for a number of years now and she was one of the top performers in that role once again in 2021. Knight accumulated a total of 423 runs this year, at an average of 42.30, including one century and three fifties. She also played a key role with the ball, chipping in with five wickets at an average of 19.80.
ICC Women’s ODI Team of 2021: Lizelle Lee (South Africa), Alyssa Healy (Australia), Tammy Beaumont (England), Mithali Raj (India), Heather Knight (c, England), Hayley Matthews (West Indies), Marizanne Kapp (South Africa), Shabnim Ismail (South Africa), Fatima Sana (Pakistan), Jhulan Goswami (India), and Anisa Mohammed (West Indies)