It all began on an insanely hot day at Vadodara.
In front of a big crowd, Australia defeated India by eight wickets with nearly 18 overs to spare in the first Women’s ODI at the Reliance Cricket Stadium.
That was on March 12, 2018. More than three years later, the women in yellow have yet to lose an ODI. On Tuesday, they beat India by nine wickets at Mackay to register their 25th straight win.
They had broken the record earlier in the year when they beat New Zealand in the first of a three-match series at Mount Maunganui. With that victory, they went past the 21-match streak of Australia’s men’s team. Ricky Ponting’s men had achieved their feat in 2003.
For the record, after whitewashing the host in Vadodara — it was sweet revenge for their stunning loss to the Indians in the World Cup semifinal in the previous year — the Australian women won the three-match series against Pakistan at Kuala Lumpur, New Zealand in Australia, England in England, West Indies in the West Indies and against Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Australia.
Women’s cricket hasn’t probably seen a team quite like this. “This is the strongest women’s team I have ever come across,” says former India all-rounder and commentator Reema Malhotra. “They are such a dominant side with great depth.”
She believes the team draws its strength from its domestic cricket and excellent selection policy. “The Women’s Big Bash League has helped their players immensely,” says Reema. “And the Australian selectors tend to pick the right players. They reward hard work and back their players, even if some of them go through a tough period.”
Sujith Sumasunder, former India opener and Head of Education at the NCA, and one who is doing his PhD in sports psychology, says what the Australian women’s team is doing is truly remarkable. “When a team goes through a phase like this, nothing less than a win is expected of them,” he says. “And when they dominate the way they do, like Clive Lloyd’s West Indies side used to, they could intimidate the opposition.”