India’s left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana, off-spin all-rounder Deepti Sharma, wicketkeeper-batter Richa, and right-arm fast-bowler Renuka Singh Thakur were included in the ICC Women’s T20I team of the Year for 2022 captained by New Zealand all-rounder Sophie Devine, said cricket’s global governing body on Monday.
Other players in the ICC Women’s T20I team of the year 2022 include Australia opener Beth Mooney, all-rounders Ashleigh Gardner and Tahlia McGrath, Pakistan’s off-spin all-rounder Nida Dar, left-arm spinners, England’s Sophie Ecclestone and Sri Lanka’s Inoka Ranaweera.
Smriti, the India vice-captain who is also nominated for ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year and ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year, had a terrific 2022 with the bat, making 594 runs at an average of 33 and a strike rate of 133.48. She hit five half-centuries in 21 innings during the year, including one in the final of the Women’s Asia Cup in Bangladesh in October against Sri Lanka.
The unbeaten 51 off just 25 balls came in a run-chase of 66, with Smriti making more than 70 percent of the team’s runs. She also made two half-centuries in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, helping India to win in both these games against Pakistan and England respectively. She finished as the fourth-highest run-scorer in the year in women’s T20Is.
Deepti took 29 wickets in the year, the joint-third-highest by any bowler in women’s T20Is in 2022. Averaging 18.55 with the ball, Deepti also bowled at an economy rate of just over six, while making 370 runs in the year with the bat.
She averaged 37 with the bat at a strike rate of 136.02, considerably higher than her career strike rate of 106.39 in T20Is. Her 13 wickets in the Women’s Asia Cup in Bangladesh made her the Player of the Tournament. She set the tone in the final against Sri Lanka, bowling a miserly spell of 4-0-7-0 after taking the new ball.
Richa was a standout player for India in T20Is in 2022. In 18 matches, she amassed 259 runs, smashing 13 sixes and showcasing incredible flair in the lower middle order. Her best came at Brabourne Stadium in a home series against Australia when she smashed an unbeaten 40 in just 19 balls, an effort which went in vain.
Renuka, one of the nominees for the ICC Women’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year award for 2022, picked 22 wickets at an average of 23.95 and an economy rate of 6.50. She was a thorn in the side of Australia’s line-up in the seven T20I meetings across the year, taking eight wickets.
Her performances across the Commonwealth Games and Asia Cup were superlative, picking 17 wickets in 11 matches, at an economy of just 5.21. Her best came against the Aussies in Birmingham, when she produced a stirring spell of 4/18 that included 16 dot balls.