The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday, January 19, revealed the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year, which features India’s opening batter Smriti Mandhana. The ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year recognises the 11 players, who performed exceptionally in the past year.
Smriti Mandhana, the only Indian on the list earned her place in the team owing to her terrific performance in T20 cricket. She ended 2021 as India’s highest scorer in the format, with 255 runs at an average of 31.87 under her name. In the nine matches she played this year, she hit two fifties and helped her side get off to a fast start on a regular basis, as evidenced by her strike rate of 131.44.
The playing XI of the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year features five players from England, including Tammy Beaumont, Danni Wyatt, Nat Sciver, Amy Jones, and Sophie Ecclestone. Furthermore, three South African players have made it into the list namely Laura Wolvaardt, Marizanne Kapp, and Shabnim Ismail.
Nat Sciver has been named the captain of the team. Throughout the year, the seasoned England all-rounder put in a number of memorable performances. Sciver, who batted in the middle order, scored 153 runs, including one fifty, and took 10 wickets at an exceptional average of 20.20.
Tammy Beaumont’s solid presence at the top of the order helped England get off to a consistent start on several occasions. She scored 303 runs at an average of 33.66 in nine matches, including three fifties.
Top-order batter Danni Wyatt had a similarly fantastic time in 2021. Wyatt scored 252 runs in nine matches, averaging 31.50 runs per match. While Beaumont was a steady presence at one end, Wyatt, with a strike rate of 133.33, went after the bowlers.
In 2021, Amy Jones wowed the crowd with her scoring range and power hitting skills. The England wicketkeeper-batter batted mostly in the bottom middle order, and he consistently provided England with fast runs. She scored a total of 151 runs with a fantastic strike rate of 142.45.
Sophie Eccelstone was another impressive name last year. The England spinner was one of the most potent spinners in T20Is. Ecclestone took 11 wickets in nine games, with an average of 17.18 and a strike rate of 17.9.
In 2021, Laura Wolvaardt was one of the finest middle-order hitters in the league. She provided the much-needed impetus to South Africa in the middle overs, scoring runs at a mind-boggling strike rate of 161. She was also exceptionally steady in that regard, with a run average of 53.66.
Marizanne Kapp played only six games last year but gave an outstanding all-around performance in each of them. Kapp scored precisely 100 runs and took eight wickets for an impressive average of 15.00.
Last year, the veteran South African bowler, Shabnim Ismail, appeared in only six games, just like her compatriot Marizanne Kapp, but took 11 wickets at a mean average and strike rate of 13.00 and 12.0, respectively. This included a five-wicket haul against Pakistan in the home series.
Besides them, Ireland’s Gaby Lewis and Zimbabwe’s Loryn Phiri have also made it into the elite list. With her knock of 105* against Germany on the opening day of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier, the 20-year-old Ireland international had a fantastic year, becoming the first Ireland Women’s player to achieve a century in international cricket. Lewis finished the year with 325 runs at an amazing average of 40.62.
On the other hand, Phiri appeared in nine T20I matches for Zimbabwe, taking 16 wickets in all, with the best statistics of 5/6. Her bowling average was an incredible 7.18.
ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year: Smriti Mandhana (India), Tammy Beaumont (England), Danni Wyatt (England), Gaby Lewis (Ireland), Nat Sciver (c) (England), Amy Jones (England), Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa), Marizanne Kapp (South Africa), Sophie Ecclestone (England), Loryn Phiri (Zimbabwe), Shabnim Ismail (South Africa).