The year 2021 has been bad for Indian cricket in more than one way. First, the Test Championship final ended in a disaster and when a team was expected to rewrite history in South Africa, although the beginning seemed to be auspicious but then it saw Indian men’s cricket at its abyss, at least in reference to its latest achievements and reputation. So bad was the team’s nosedive that a dejected Virat Kohli decided to give away his leadership. However, just like the last Olympics, it was the Indian women who put on some balm on the country’s injured cricket reputation.
It is after several years that there is no male Indian cricketer in the ICC’s list of ‘Cricketers of the Year’ for 2021 in any category. The lone Indian cricketer in the ICC list is Smriti Shriniwas Mandhana. Winning the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award on being named as the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year, Smriti earned a rare double as she had won the award for the first time in 2018.
Smriti has not only exhibited her prowess with the bat in red and white ball cricket but even while playing with the pink ball in Australia at the Gold Coast, when she scored her maiden Test hundred. To add to her spoils of 2021, she scored a half century against England and in 22 Internationals she scored 855 runs at an average of 38.86.
Born on 18 July 1996 in Mumbai, the year 2013 saw a left-hander teenager make her international debut in white ball cricket but she surprised one and all in becoming the first Indian lady to score a double hundred in one day cricket.
Gp Capt Achchyut Kumar has been associated with The Teenager Today for more than 50 years; initially as a reader and later as a contributor on varied topics. Having worked in the Indian Air Force and in India’s oldest company, Forbes & Company Limited, he is now practising as a lawyer in Nainital High Court.