October 29th 2017. This was the last time Australia women lost an ODI game. It was England who beat them by 20 runs in a rain-affected game. Since then, Australia women have played 21 ODI matches and have won each and every one of them.
In the process, with these 21 wins, they have now gone level with the world record held by the Ricky Ponting-led Australian team, which had won 21 ODIs in a row as well in 2003. Out of these 21 wins, 12 have come away from home. The Aussie women have excelled across continents, conditions and all sorts of oppositions.
Seven series, six opponents, five countries and unbeaten through thick and thin. For two and a half years, Australia has been invincible in the 50-over format.
The streak kicked off in Baroda when Australia travelled to India in early 2018 and recorded commanding wins in all three games. Pakistan suffered the same fate when the Australian women travelled to Malaysia later that year. New Zealand put up a decent fight in February-March 2019 but failed. England tried their best as well but came up short in the 2019 Ashes. At home, Sri Lanka came touring in late 2019 but was thrashed. And now, New Zealand was no match to the mighty Aussies once again.
And what’s even more impressive is that among the 21 wins, there have been just been barely two games where the opposition even had a chance. One was New Zealand in Perth in February 2019 who gave them a scare before falling short by five runs in their chase of 241. The next instance was England who almost defended 178 before Aussies got home with two wickets in hand in July 2019 during the Ashes series.
This record streak of 21 wins is also well past of the women’s record of 17 wins. That previous record was held by Belinda Clark’s Australian side from the late 1990s. From Baroda to Brisbane, this has been a fabulous winning run for the Aussies.
An all-round show by Australia Women
It’s not that there are only a couple of players performing with bat and ball. The entire core group is standing up and delivering. With the bat, there are five players who average in excess of 40. There are also five players who have got hundreds in this winning streak. As far as the bowling is concerned, as many as six players have picked up upwards of 20 wickets.
Moreover, whenever the big players have missed out or have been injured, the others have stepped up beautifully. Hence, it’s just not the big names performing. In fact, 21 players have played ODI cricket for Australia in this time. And only four of them have played all 21 games. This just underlines the depth the Aussies have created at the moment.
Just look at the line-up that last played against Australia. There is barely any weakness in this Aussie line-up at the moment.
Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes at the top of the order. Meg Lanning missed the last game but she usually slots in at 3. That is some top three. Tahlia McGrath slotted in when Lanning missed the last game against the White Ferns. Beth Mooney adds some solidity at four. Ellyse Perry didn’t play this series against New Zealand else she would easily slot in at 5.
Sophie Molineux and Annabel Sutherland got opportunities in Perry’s place and they were impressive as well. Ash Gardner, Nicola Carey and Jess Jonassen add value as all-rounders. Georgia Wareham and Megan Schutt round up the line-up. These are 13 players that can walk into the side at any given time.
Consistency of the big names
Be it Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning, Rachael Haynes and Beth Mooney with the bat or Jess Jonassen, Megan Schutt and Ash Gardner with the ball or even Ellyse Perry’s incredible all-round show, the big names have stood up for the Aussies. They’ve led the way and have been at the heart of this winning run.
In fact, the way Lanning and Haynes have batted in the last few innings, they’ve rarely had a failure. Healy provides the impact performances at the top with the bat. These three have scored more than 800 runs in this period. Schutt and Jonassen have been consistent with the ball, picking at least a wicket almost every game and both of these players have in excess of 30 wickets. Ellyse Perry is the GOAT all-rounder and has scored 609 runs and has picked up 26 wickets.
Maiden hundreds for Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes
A total of 10 hundreds were scored by five Aussie players in this winning streak. Among those, there were maiden tons scored by three cricketers. Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes were the ones who got their maiden ODI hundreds in this period. In fact, Perry and Healy went on to get multiple tons. Perry scored two while Healy got three. The others to get hundreds for Australia were Meg Lanning (three tons) and Nicole Bolton (one).
Seven Debutants for Australia Women
As many as seven players made their debut for Australia in ODI cricket in this winning streak. Erin Burns and Lauren Cheatle are the only ones who played just one game. Nicola Carey, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham, Annabel Sutherland and Tayla Vlaeminck played multiple games.
In fact, the likes of Carey, Molineux and Wareham have gone on to become regulars in the ODI team. Each of them has played a big part in this ODI dominance. Wareham has 20 wickets in 18 games while Molineux has picked up 12 wickets in six games. Carey played 15 games and took 11 wickets. Carey and Molineux can be handy batters as well, lower down the order and have shown glimpses of what they are capable of.
As mentioned above, there were a mere two instances where teams came close to winning an ODI game against this Australian women’s side. Every win, every series was a thrashing. Every performance that Australia put it was clinical. Some of the biggest wins for them came in this period.
Batting first, there were as many as six wins in which the Aussies won by 150 runs or more. Five other wins have come by 50 runs or more. Another six wins came with six or more wickets to spare with. Thus, this just underlines the consistency and ruthless in this period.