ICC Women’s Championship preview – India vs Australia

Both Australia and India sit on 4 points from 3 games after 2-1 series wins in their opening round of ICC Women’s Championship fixtures. The run rates for Australia’s home series vs England (5.19 rpo) and India’s series in South Africa (4.55 rpo) set the record for bilateral series involving those particular combinations of opponents.  There’s no reason to think this series won’t challenge the combined 4.89 rpo that Australia and India scored at when the Indians toured Australia in 2016.

Australia come into the series on the back of ten bilateral ODI series wins in a row (which no doubt makes their World Cup campaign, between the 9th & 10th series wins, sting a little more).  Against India, Australia have won all six previous bilateral ODI series contested since 1984.

Bilateral ODI series results between India & Australia:
AUS 4-0 IND, 1984 in India
AUS 4-3 IND, 2004 in India
AUS 3-0 IND, 2006 in Australia
AUS 5-0 IND, 2008 in Australia
AUS 3-0 IND, 2012 in India
AUS 2-1 IND, 2016 in Australia

The overall record between the two sides currently stands at 34-9 to Australia, but India have recorded a couple of important victories in recent years.

Last 5 IND/AUS ODIs:
Australia won by 101 runs at Manuka Oval, Canberra, 2 Feb 2016
Australia won 6 wickets at Bellerive Oval, Hobart, 5 Feb 2016
India won by 5 wickets at Bellerive Oval, Hobart, 7 Feb 2016
Australia won by 8 wickets at County Ground, Bristol (World Cup), 12 Jul 2017
India won by 36 runs at County Ground Derby, (World Cup semi-final), 20 Jul 2017

First, India ended a run of six consecutive ODI losses against Australia with a win at Hobart in February 2016.  At the time, this was the highest target India had successfully chased in an ODI (232).  India’s timid display at Bristol in the group stage of the 2017 World Cup suggested Australia still had a significant upper hand in the rivalry, but those thoughts were allayed after the extraordinary semi-final at Derby on 20th July.

Australia’s bowlers had no answer to Hamranpreet Kaur’s storming innings of 171* (115), which took India to the highest ever World Cup total vs Australia 281/4 (despite the match being reduced to 42 overs).

Australia’s last international match in India was their loss to the West Indies in the final of the World T20 on 3rd April 2016.  Their last ODI on Indian soil was their win against the same opponents in the 2013 World Cup final at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, now over five years ago.  That match was marked by one of the great displays of all-round skill and fortitude from Ellyse Perry, battling through an ankle injury.

Perry’s unbeaten fifty partnership for the eighth wicket with captain Jodie Fields took Australia to the highest ever total in a World Cup final, and her opening three overs (3-2-2-3) derailed the West Indian chase before it even had a chance to get going.  Perry’s exceptional final figures of 10-3-19-3 remain the most economical 10 overs bowled in a World Cup knock-out match this century.

The last time India played Australia in a home ODI was 11 months earlier, for a series in March 2012.  The 2nd match of that series was notable for being the last time Australia posted 300 in an ODI.  In the intervening period, Australia have repeatedly expressed a desire to take their scoring to a new level.

Australia remain the most consistent side in terms of 250+ totals (once every 1.93 innings since the start of 2016, the next best is England at once every 3 innings, and the ODI average is 4.57. India are third with a rate of a 250+ total once every 3.56 innings) but have seen several other sides break 300 since they last did.  Australia’s 296/6 in the 2nd Ashes ODI in October was their highest total since the 2012 India series.

300+ ODI totals since Australia last made 300:
4 England; New Zealand
3 South Africa
2 India
1 West Indies


That 2nd ODI on 14th March 2012 also featured another stellar bowling performance from Perry.  Her ODI career best 8.1-3-19-5 are the best ODI figures against India on home soil.

Since that 2013 World Cup ankle injury however, Perry has never quite been as fast or as threatening.  Her heroic World Cup final effort was arguably the last great spell of ODI bowling in her career (Perry was excellent with the ball in the Ashes Tests at Perth in 2014 and Canterbury in 2015).

Perry has of course more than made up for diminished returns with the ball by embarking on an astonishing run of scores with the bat.

Ellyse Perry all-round stats up to & after her last ODI in India (2013 WC final):

Ellyse Perry all-round pre post 2013 WCa.png

When she last played an ODI in India, Perry was one of the world’s great fast bowlers.  She returns to ODI cricket in India as the one of the most consistent batters in World cricket.

In the 2013 World Cup final, Perry came in at #9 and had batted above #7 just once in her 33 previous ODI innings.  In her 38 innings since, Perry has never batted  below #6 and has scored the 3rd most runs (1,932), at comfortably the best batting average (74.30) in women’s ODIs.

The 2017/18 Australian season saw Perry finish as top run scorer in the Ashes, (351 runs) the WBBL (552) and the WNCL (372).  She also won or retained the trophy in all three competitions.

 

For the first time since the 2006/7 Rose Bowl series, Australia will play an ODI series without Alex Blackwell, who announced her retirement last month.  Blackwell’s absence is made up for by the return of Meg Lanning, who missed the 2017/18 Australian season due to a shoulder injury.

Since Lanning debuted in January 2011, the average women’s ODI batter playing at #1-7 in the order has made a century at a rate of one every 52.17 innings.  Lanning’s own rate is one century every 5.72 innings, in other words over nine times better than the average rate.  The next best current international (3+ centuries) during that period is Suzie Bates, at a rate of one century every 10.43 innings.

In run chases, Lanning scores a century once every 4.38 innings, which is over 21 times better than the average rate of 93.64 among #1-7 ODI batters since her debut.  Lanning has scored 8 of the 22 centuries made in ODI chases worldwide since her debut.

Lanning’s average ODI partnership with Ellyse Perry is 109.57, comfortably the highest among any paring to have batted togetehr 5+ times since Lanning’s debut.  Lanning & Perry have made eight century and four fifty partnerships in 18 innings.  They are the only pairing in ODI history to have shared more than one 200+ stand.  In their nine 2nd innings partnerships, Lanning and Perry have failed to reach their fifty partnership just once.

How Australia line-up will be one of the intriguing aspects of this series, with Elyse Villani and Beth Mooney most likely vying for a single spot.  Following the Ashes, Villani is the incumbent but her international returns have never really lived up to expectation.  Mooney’s stronger ODI stats, excellent form in the Ashes T20Is, plus a century in the first warm-up game of this tour may be hard to ignore.

A batter Australia are yet to see the best of in ODIs is Ashleigh Gardner.  Gardner’s clean-striking and devastating power led to a record 21 sixes at a rate of 1 every 11.9 balls-faced during the most recent WBBL season.  If Gardner finds a way to emulate such feats in ODIs, it could well be the key to Australia reaching their desired higher totals.


Smriti Mandhana’s 219 runs in South Africa were the most ever scored for India in a 3 match ODI series.  Mithali Raj, who sets a record every time she scores a run in ODIs, had a disappointing ODI series in South Africa (70 runs at 23.33) but took player of the series in the T20Is that followed.

Raj’s ODI average of 34.51 vs Australia is her lowest for any single opponent, though it rises to 41.62 when playing the Australians in India.  Raj has yet to make an ODI century in 31 attempts vs Australia (her HS is 89), while her younger counterparts Harmamnpreet Kaur, Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana have all reached three figures against the Australians.

Kaur’s 171* in the World Cup semi-final is the 2nd highest ODI score vs Australia, and her average of 56.87 is the highest of any player to have batted 10+ times against Australia.  Lanning is the only member of the Australian squad to have made an ODI century vs India.

Mandhana and Raut will hope their success vs Australia translates to home soil. While captian Raj and vice-captain Kaur have strong ODI records at home and away, the rest of India’s main batters are mostly yet to prove themselves at home.

Mandhana’s 714 runs in 19 innings at 47.60 (SR 91.89, 3×100, 4×50) away compares starkly with a modest 438 in 16 at 23.05 (SR 65.37, 3×50) at home.  Raut and Deepti Sharma’s averages, and especially their strike rates, will have to drastically improve at home if they’re to have a (positive) impact on the series.

India WODI batting home

In part this is due to a lack of opportunity.  India last played a home international fixture 16 months ago, when West indies visited for 3 ODIs & 3 T20Is in November 2016.  The sparse nature of the scheduling means ‘form’ is not something that often has a chance to manifest for more than a couple of weeks in women’s international cricket, which makes the performances of Raj, Perry, Lanning, etc all the more remarkable.


This will be the first International tour of Asia for Australia’s exciting legspinner Amanda-Jade Wellington, as well as offspinner Gardner. They and left-arm orthodox Jess Jonassen will hope Indian conditions prove more favourable than those experienced in the Ashes ODIs.

Australian spinners took 11 wickets at 37.00 and 5.19 rpo during the Ashes, compared with 15 at 19.86 at 4.65 rpo for their pace bowlers.  Overall however, spinners have been the most successful bowlers so far in the the 2017-20 ICC Women’s Championship,

2017-20 ICC Women’s Championship bowlingICCWC bowling

While spin will play a pivotal role in this series, the only bowlers in either squad (with 5+ wickets) to average under 30 against their respective opponents are pace bowlers Shikha Pandey of India (10 wickets at 16.50) and Ellyse Perry of Australia (28 wickets at 18.25).

 


ICC Women’s Championship 2017-20 – India vs Australia 

FIXTURES

12th March – 1st ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara
15th March – 2nd ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara
18th March – 3rd ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara

SQUADS

India: Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram, Sushma Verma, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Sukanya Parida, Pooja Vastrakar, Deepti Sharma

Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington

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ICC Women’s Championship preview – New Zealand vs West Indies

Stats derived from ESPNcricinfo statsguru.

The second round of 2017-20 ICC Women’s Championship fixtures begins at Bert Sutcliffe Oval on 4th March, when New Zealand play host to West Indies.

The series will be the first major examination for two sides that disappointed at the 2017 World Cup, both being eliminated before the knock-out stages.

2013 finalists, West Indies could only manage consolation victories vs Sri Lanka and Pakistan during their dismal campaign.  New Zealand were unlucky with the weather (their crucial group match with South Africa was the only game abandoned during the tournament), but came off comfortably second best in their group stage encounters against eventual semi-finalists Australia, England and India.

Since then, the West Indies have brushed aside Sri Lanka 3-0 in an error-strewn series at home in October 2017, and New Zealand have beaten Pakistan 2-1 in the UAE in October/November.

New Zealand’s loss at Sharjah on 5th November was their first defeat in any format against Pakistan.  That result would ordinarily prove costly in what looks set to be a hard fought ICC Women’s Championship, but the White Ferns are fortunate that they have automatically qualified as hosts for the 2021 World Cup.

In ODIs, New Zealand and West Indies have met 16 times. New Zealand have won eight and West Indies seven, with one no result.

The contest has been marked by extreme home advantage, with West Indies winning six of seven meetings in the Caribbean, and the White Ferns winning all three meetings in New Zealand.

Last 8 ODI results between NZ & WI:

NZ won by 9 wickets at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, 2014
NZ won by 94 runs at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, 2014
NZ won by 107 runs at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, 2014
WI won by 5 wickets at Warner Park St Kitts, 2014
WI won by 65 runs at Warner Park St Kitts, 2014
WI won by 8 wickets at Warner Park St Kitts, 2014
WI won by 4 runs at Warner Park St Kitts, 2014
NZ won by 8 wickets at Taunton, 2017 World Cup

This will be West Indies women’s second ever tour of New Zealand. The previous tour, in 2014, finished with series whitewashes for New Zealand in both ODIs (3-0) and T20Is (4-0).

West Indies have won just 2 of their last 11 ODI fixtures away from home, with their only victories in that sequence being their encounters with Pakistan and Sri Lanka during the group stages of the 2017 World Cup.

Since West Indies last visited New Zealand, the White Ferns have won 14 of 21 matches at home, with their only losses coming at the hands of England and Australia.

At neutral venues, specifically their six World Cup meetings, New Zealand have the upper hand over West Indies, 4-1 with one match abandoned during the 2005 World Cup.  The West Indies only victory vs New Zealand in World Cups was in 2013 in India, perhaps not coincidentally in lower, slower conditions that are most akin to their own at home.

West Indies captain, Stafanie Taylor has the most runs (526) and most wickets (21) in NZ/WI ODI contests and also has the highest individual score in these matches (135* at Sabina Park in Oct 2013), although her record in the few matches she’s played in New Zealand (3) is less impressive – 77 runs at 25.66 and 2 wickets at 37.00.

The run rate in women’s ODIs has seen a marked increase over the last few years, in the wake of expanded pools of contracted international players and nascent professional domestic T20 leagues in the form of WBBL and KSL.

Women’s ODI run rate:
2014 – 3.84 rpo (38 matches)
2015 – 3.91 rpo (34 matches)
2016 – 4.33 rpo (57 matches)
2017 – 4.41 rpo (70 matches)
2018 – 4.55 rpo (3 matches)

The ODI playing conditions have also changed since the 2017 World Cup, which may even see run rates escalate further.

As the below tables indicate, not only have West Indies failed to keep pace with the increasing ODI run rates of recent years, they’ve fallen back from the position they were in previously.  West Indies are one of the few batting sides to have a lower run rate, and to average fewer runs per wicket in the 2016-2018 period than they did in 2013-15.  By contrast, New Zealand are one of the sides at the forefront of the batting revolution.


Women’s ODI win/loss record 2013-2015
Average run rate: 3.94 rpo   Average runs per wicket: 23.31

Team Win / Loss W/L Ratio Bat ave RR Bowl ave. ER
AUS 19 / 5 3.800 32.92 4.75 22.67 4.16
ENG 18 / 9 2.000 29.56 4.54 24.17 4.20
SA 18 / 11 1.636 23.45 3.68 18.98 3.58
IND 12 / 8 1.500 26.85 4.02 21.12 3.77
WI 20 / 18 1.111 22.81 4.01 23.07 3.91
NZ 16 / 16 1.000 26.68 4.38 22.85 3.89
PAK 13 / 19 0.684 19.80 3.46 21.82 3.58
SL 6 / 24 0.250 18.20 3.50 32.50 4.49
BAN 2 / 8 0.250 16.75 3.22 26.27 3.77
IRE 0 / 6 0.000 9.90 2.56 28.93 4.56

 

Women’s ODI win/loss record since the start of 2016
Average run rate: 4.38 rpo   Average runs per wicket: 26.89

Team Win / Loss W/L Ratio Bat ave RR Bowl ave. ER
AUS 22 / 6 3.666 39.41 5.22 25.44 4.52
IND 25 / 7 3.571 37.96 4.67 20.58 3.84
ENG 21 / 6 3.500 33.19 5.25 23.10 4.12
NZ 17 / 10 1.700 33.44 5.07 25.19 4.19
SA 23 / 24 0.958 26.82 4.50 26.09 4.29
WI 9 / 12 0.750 20.82 3.75 24.22 4.03
BAN 3 / 8 0.375 16.28 3.04 25.14 4.22
SL 4 / 22 0.181 18.12 3.54 36.08 4.68
PAK 3 / 20 0.150 20.99 3.75 39.35 5.36
IRE 1 / 13 0.076 17.30 3.37 43.39 5.14

Since the start of 2016 (essentially the post-WBBL era), New Zealand’s Amy Satterthwaite has the highest batting average in women’s ODIs (76.41) and only South Africa’s Mignon du Preez (1,361) has scored more runs than Satterthwaite’s 1,299 in that period.  Du Preez has played 47 ODIs to Satterthwaite’s 27.

Satterthwaite is one of six New Zealanders among the top 25 in terms of ODI batting strike rate (200+ BF) since the start of 2016.  Only England, with seven, have more players that highly placed.  The first West Indian on that list is Deandra Dottin in 26th (76.83).  Dottin is the only West Indian with a strike above the ODI average for the period (68.41).

Dottin, who made 104* vs Pakistan at the World Cup, is also the only West Indian to have made an ODI century since the start of 2016.  Stafanie Taylor’s batting average of 34.31 is relatively modest, especially given her career record, but that still makes her West Indies most consistent performer with the bat in that time-frame.  Taylor has more 50+ scores (7) than all her her teammates combined (6) since the start of 2016.

Women;s ODI batting pre&post WBBL

Where West Indies continue to be effective is in their bowling economy rate.  Only India (3.84 rpo) have a better ODI ER than West Indies 4.03 since the start of 2016.  Once again however, West Indies bowlers fare less well away from the Caribbean (ER of 4.42 rpo away vs 3.48 rpo at home).

Among bowlers to have taken 12+ ODI wickets since the start of 2016, New Zealand have three bowlers among the top six in the averages.

Best ODI bowling average since start of 2016 (12+ wickets):

16.74 RS Gayakwad IND (39 wickets)
17.31 LM Kasperek NZ (16)
17.53 HR Huddleston NZ (30)
17.77 S Pandey IND (45)
18.53 HL Ferling AUS (13)
18.92 HM Rowe NZ (13)
19.75 ASS Fletcher WI (24)
19.78 Khadija Tul Kubra BAN (19)
20.14 E Bisht (35)
20.73 SR Taylor (19)

Afy Fletcher, in 7th is the first West Indian on the list, closely followed by Taylor in 10th. Fletcher and Taylor are also among three West Indians to feature in the top 10 for best ODI economy rate since the start of 2016 (although one of them, Shakera Selman is injured so won’t feature in this series).

Best ODI economy rate since the start of 2016 (50+ overs bowled):

2.87 M Joshi IND
3.42 E Bisht IND
3.44 GM Harris AUS
3.47 LA Marsh ENG
3.49 SR Taylor WI
3.53 SC Selman WI
3.57 ASS Fletcher WI
3.59 Poonam Yadav IND
3.61 IMHC Joyce IRE
3.61 DB Sharma IND

A few economical bowlers can only do so much, however.  For West Indies to return to the top ranks of women’s ODI cricket, their batters must adapt to a rapidly evolving game.  There are few places with more favourable conditions to begin that process than New Zealand.

Since the start of 2016, the ODI run rate in New Zealand has been the second highest in the world (4.99 rpo), and wickets have been harder to come by (a cost of 35.93 runs per wicket) than in any other nation.

Women’s ODI run rate by host nation since the start of 2016:

Country ODIs Runs Wkts Balls Ave. RR
AUS 11 5087 160 6112 31.79 4.99
NZ 11 4958 138 5961 35.93 4.99
ENG 33 13753 465 17415 29.58 4.74
SA 23 8996 327 12240 27.51 4.41
IRE 6 1965 82 2802 23.96 4.21
UAE 3 1078 47 1585 22.94 4.08
SL 24 8063 344 12331 23.44 3.92
BAN 5 1652 76 2555 21.74 3.88
IND 6 1920 84 3152 22.86 3.65
WI 8 2519 136 4269 18.52 3.54