India cricketers Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami have been named in the women's ODI Team of the Year for 2021 by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
ICC came out with its ODI Team of the Year list on Thursday. Apart from the Indian players, England's Heather Knight was also included in the list as the captain of the team. This comes after the T20I Team of the Year list for 2021 was announced by ICC. Just like the T20 list, no Indian male player was named in the ODI Men's Team of the Year list. Pakistan captain Bar Azam led the Men's list. This is reportedly the first time that ICC has not included any male Indian cricketer in the Men's ODI Team of the Year.
Earlier, Smriti Mandhana was named in ICC Women's T20I Team of the Year 2021 and she was the only Indian player to do so. Mithali Raj equaled her runs with England's Tammy Beaumont and at the same average. Raj topped the list because her runs saved her team at the time when they were struggling as a unit. This made Raj's contribution more important as a team player. She scored six half-centuries however was not able to score any century.
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Meanwhile, Jhulan Goswami, who has more years to gain experience as Mithali Raj, took 15 wickets in 2021 and maintained an impressive economy rate of 3.77. She proved to be a valuable team player with her ability to keep runs in check and pick up wickets at the same time.
Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami have been seen as important assets of the Indian Women's Cricket Team for the upcoming Women's World Cup scheduled in March 2022. The Indian team is going to play limited overs series against New Zealand before the showpiece event. The names included in the ICC Women's ODI Team of the Year for 2021 includes Anisa Mohammed, Heather Knight (captain), Alyssa Healy (wicketkeeper),Lizelle Lee,Mithali Raj, Hayley Matthews, Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail, Fatima Sana, Jhulan Goswami.
In other news, Jhulan Goswami will soon have a biopic made in her name in which actor Anushka Sharma will essay her role.