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The leading ladies of Indian women’s cricket in 2016

Harmanpreet Kaur
Harmanpreet Kaur of the Thunder bats during the Women’s Big Bash League match between the Melbourne Stars and the Sydney Thunder. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

2016 was a satisfying year for Indian women team in general. They managed to press their dominance at home by winning both the series hosted here – the first against Sri Lanka and the other against West Indies.

However, the remainder of the two series, both away, resulted in losses for them. In T20Is they had better results, winning three out of the five series. The team performances might be even and not overwhelming but talking of individual performances, the ladies were surely high and set new benchmarks for others to follow. Here are three ladies who made us proud this year

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Smriti Mandhana

In December, an amusing headline – ‘From Sangli to Brisbane’ occupied the top spots in social media circle and top sports websites. This was due to Indian batswoman Smriti Mandhana who became the only Indian cricketer to be named in the Women’s Team of the Year 2016. The announcement was made by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Dubai.

The side led by New Zealand’s Suzie Bates includes two other New Zealanders – wicketkeeper Rachel Priest and off-spinner Leigh Kaspere, two Australians, Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry, England’s Heather Knight and Anya Shrubshole, two West Indians in Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin as well Sune Luus of South Africa.

Kim Garth of Ireland has been named as the 12th player. This happened before the 20-year-oldsigned for the Brisbane Heat for the WBBL after a productive Australian tour, where she scored 157 runs in the three One-Day Internationals, including a maiden century.

Mithali Raj

The Indian women’s cricket team clinched the women’s T20 Asia Cup title beating arch-rivals Pakistan for their sixth straight title. Indian captain Mithali Raj was adjudged the player of the match and the player of the series for her stupendous performance throughout the tournament.

The “Tendulkar of Indian Women’s Cricket” and perhaps the most adorable ‘Didi’ around for all young aspiring girls out there also went past the 5000 runs mark. Mithali Raj has scored an impressive 5047 runs in ODIs at an average of 49.6. She is also the second-highest run getter in Women’s cricket, next behind to former England captain Charlotte Edwards.

Harmanpreet Kaur:

The ‘lioness’ of the Indian women’s cricket team had a great year. Talent and aggression go hand in hand in her case. And, so far, it has benefitted her to a great extent. While the current Indian skipper contributed with the bat quite impressive for the Indian team this year, the biggest distinction for her on a personal note was becoming the first Indian women to get signed in Women Big Bash League (WBBL). She is currently on a trip Down Under playing for the Sydney Thunders and is already creating a storm with her performances with the bat as well as with her off-breaks.

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