On 3rd of April 2022 with a silverware in hand and medallions around their neck, Australian women’s team won their 7th ICC World Cup trophy and this time it was Meg Lanning & co. who fulfilled a glorious and glittery dream that was lived after an agonising 2017 edition exit.
When one talks about success there always is a backstory and for this Australian women’s team it dates back to 20th of July, 2017, the day Australia saw it’s World Cup dream shatter to some massive bowls in an epic 171* from Harmanpreet Kaur in the semi-final. The semi-final exit proved enough for Australia to wakeup and reinvent their ODI game.
In September 2017, the team got together in Brisbane to sit in a room and re-watch the barrage of sixes and fours that Harmanpreet rained, it was a start of the rebuilding process and starting to move on. Any Australian player from that dressing room when talks about the success they are enjoying today they don’t miss out on including the 2017 semi-final exit in their own versions. That early exit for sure kept them pushing and the success was lived in the most satisfying fashion by remaining unbeaten throughout their World Cup campaign to live the ultimate glory.
Australia were on a road to set new standards and ride fresh on a way of rocks and roses. That dressing room had a brave face and a voice that rightly continued to be Meg Lanning who now has got the women’s team to great heights and tags of favourites and greatest ever are just a fitting credit the team deserves.
Meg Lanning days before the world cup in her column wrote,”We want to win every game that we play, and we were very proud to reach 26 ODIs unbeaten before losing to India, but it’s probably not realistic in these times with so many good teams out there to win absolutely every game but it’s a good challenge for us.” The challenge was taken on and accomplished.
Australian women’s team played 42 ODI’s and won 40 since the 2017 semi-final defeat. Here’s a look at their journey; 2-1 win v England before defeating India, Pakistan, New Zealand, England, West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand twice (home and way) all by a 3-0 margin before a 2-1 v India in 2021 got their win streak of 26 straight ODI wins to an end. Not a lot changed despite the win streak being broken as v England a 3-0 win just before the World Cup and the 9 match undefeated success has Australia standing at 12 straight ODI wins.
This edition of the women’s world cup by far saw it’s best set of cricketing days making it an excellent tournament that women’s cricket presented and the world witnessed after real long. The tournament had to deliver a message and it for sure has,”this cricket too is exciting and is ready for expansion.” Australia in such a high quality tournament having not lost a single game spoke volumes of their mindset and determination.
Australia’s games at 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup :
March 5 : v England, 12 runs win.
March 8 : v Pakistan, 7 wickets win.
March 13 : v New Zealand, 141 runs win.
March 15 : v West Indies, 7 wickets win.
March 19 : v India, 6 wickets win.
March 22 : v South Africa, 5 wickets win.
March 25: v Bangladesh, 5 wickets win.
March 30 : v West Indies, 157 runs win.
April 3 : v England, 71 runs win.
Australia throughout the tournament were a class above all, by far the best balanced side that comes with bench strength who had experience under their belt. Australia had remodelled their ODI cricket, Alyssa Healy from the middle order was pushed up to opening and this brave call payed it’s ultimate reward with Healy’s blistering knock of 170 in the final v England that set Australia a comforting total to defend. Australia’s strength lies is their batting that’s where all the experience in abundance see’s them come out of tricky place if they land in on a rare day. Haynes opening with Healy, Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry and Beth Mooney in the middle constitute a brilliant packed batting unit.
It also was about new faces and few who were back to the international set-up having less experience, but looked seasoned. 2020-21 saw Australia hand a few caps, pro Megan Schutt had partners in Annabel Sutherland who late in 2020 and Darcie Brown who in April 2021 made their debuts and looked to challenge the best and made big name for themselves. Tahila McGrath burst back to the scene after remodelling her game and this time featured as a real match winner and game changer giving a massive impression. Spin department, the experienced and seasoned pro, Jess Jonassen found company in Amanda Jade Wellington who was back finding her feet in international cricket and had success come her way and stood by her reputation, didn’t shy showing and proving. Alana King, Australia’s now first choice leg spinner made her debut in 2022 v England just before the World Cup already has a big name for herself in very little international appearance that was displayed with match winning performances even at the biggest of stages, the World Cup.
After dominating bilateral cricket it was very certain that it’s got to be the expected Australia winning the World Cup, but an unexpected five year wait with covid had the tournament postpone a year ahead and with a point to prove Australia waited impatiently to display their remodelling version of ODI at a World Cup stage. The tournament was a season of close games where a winning side with momentum did make mistake of taking their foot off the gas, but Meg Lanning the skipper, Rachael Haynes the vice-captain and the entire unit gave each game equal importance. Little things that Australia does differently is what defines their success be it with the bat or ball taking bold decisions and not fear experimenting or be it with elite on field athleticism.