After picking the Men’s dream XI for all three formats, ESPNCricinfo.com has revealed its Women’s ODI XI of the last 25 years.
The team selection was done by a jury comprised of Mel Jones, Shubhangi Kulkarni, Ebony Rainford-Brent, Ann Browne-John and Raf Nicholson. Each selector sent in their all-time XIs and a composite team was compiled from it. The period to select a particular player was considered from March 1, 1993 to December 31, 2017.
The side certainly highlights the dominance of Australia as five Aussie players made it to the team. Three Indians and two English women’s are also part of the side besides the one West Indian representative. Surprisingly, there is no player from New Zealand despite them being only the third team to win the World Cup in last 25 years.
The opening slots go to the duo of Australia’s Belinda Clark and England’s Charlotte Edwards. Clark’s impact on women’s game is second to none. She has scored 4844 runs in 118 ODIs at an average of 47.47. Belinda is the first cricketer ever to crack the barrier of double ton in ODIs by scoring an unbeaten 229 against Denmark in the 1997 World Cup. Moreover, she has led the Aussie women’s side to the 2005 World Cup triumph and has been shouldered with the responsibility to lead the Women’s ODI XI.
On the other hand, Edwards scored 5992 runs in 191 ODIs for England with 9 tons and 46 fifties. Only India's Mithali Raj has made more runs than Edwards in Women’s ODIs.
The no.3 batswoman in the team is the current India ODI captain, Mithali Raj. She is one of the pioneers of women’s cricket in India. She is the only batsman to have scored more than 6000 runs in ODIs. Raj has led India to World Cup finals in 2005 and 2017.
Australia’s Karen Rolton and West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor occupy the No. 4 and 5 spots in the batting order. While Rolton has amassed 4814 ODI runs in 141 matches at an incredible average of 48.14 with 8 hundreds and 33 fifties, Taylor has scored 4230 runs in 111 ODIs at 44.06 with 5 tons and 31 half-centuries.
England’s Sarah Taylor will helm the wicket-keeping gloves in the Women’s ODI XI. Given her lightning reflexes behind the stumps, it is safe to say that Sarah is currently the best stumper in women’s cricket. In 116 ODIs, Sarah has affected 80 catches and 48 stumpings.
All-rounders are the vital member of any team and Australia’s Ellyse Perry has been picked as an all-rounder of Women’s ODI XI. Perry has made 2540 runs in 97 ODIs while she has taken 130 wickets at an average of 25.62.
Australia’s Lisa Sthalekar is the second all-rounder of this team. She has 2728 ODI runs in 125 matches and has scalped 146 wickets with an impressive average of 24.97.
India’s Jhulan Goswami and Australia’s Cathryn Fitzpatrick have been shouldered with the responsibility to lead the fast bowling attack. While Jhulan is the highest wicket-taker in women’s ODIs with 203 scalps from 169 matches, Fitzpatrick has claimed 180 wickets in 109 ODIs at an incredible average of 16.79.
India’s Neetu David is the left-arm spinner in the side. Neetu was an important part of India's attack for 97 ODIs over a period of 13 years. She has taken 141 wickets at an awe-inspiring economy rate of 2.82 and an average of 16.34.
ESPNCricinfo women’s ODI XI of the last 25 years:
Belinda Clark (c), Charlotte Edwards, Mithali Raj, Karen Rolton, Stafanie Taylor, Sarah Taylor (wk), Ellyse Perry, Lisa Sthalekar, Jhulan Goswami, Cathryn Fitzpatrick, Neetu David