A Combined ODI Playing XI from India's Men's and Women's teams
Women's cricket in India has come a long way with broadcasters and sponsors showing a lot more interest recently. India’s appearance in the final of the Women’s World Cup in 2017 sparked interest in the team despite them losing to England.
The ICC too has noticed. During the current tour of New Zealand, every T20I match involving the men's teams will be preceded by a clash between the the women’s teams on the same day at the same venue.
It would only be appropriate to recognise the popularity of women’s cricket and here's what a combined team would look like based on the performances of the players in the ODI series against New Zealand. The men had won 4-1, while the women beat the hosts 2-1.
#1) Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma played two match-winning half-centuries, in the second and third ODIs, as he continued in good form in ODIs. Though he could not score consistently in the series as the Indian lineup collapsed to some good swing bowling from New Zealand, he still managed to score when it mattered and the series was done by then.
#2) Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana is currently on top of the ODI rankings. She has been outstanding for India in her last 10 innings, scoring 567 runs in seven completed innings at an average of 81. In New Zealand, Mandhana scored 105 and 90* in the first two ODIs and was a significant factor in India winning both the matches and the series.
In the second match, she scored 90 off 83 balls with 13 fours and 1 six. Chasing 162 to win, India were reduced to 15 for 2 when Mithali Raj joined Mandhana. Though the captain was slow at start, taking 62 balls to reach 16, Mandhana kept the scoreboard ticking with 42 off 45 balls.
A left-hander, she would be the ideal opening partner for Rohit, who can also take time to settle in before opening up.