Cricket in Commonwealth Games 2022: Best XI of the tournament ft. Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana

Who makes the Commonwealth Games 2022 Cricket XI?
Who makes the Commonwealth Games 2022 Cricket XI?

The cricketing leg of the Commonwealth Games 2022 (CWG 2022) came to a rip-roaring conclusion on Sunday (August 7), with Australia scraping their way past India to secure the gold medal at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

The tournament was filled with twists and turns at every possible juncture, making it as grand a spectacle as any at the Birmingham Games. That it was the first time cricket had featured since 1998, only illustrated why it should happen more often.

As always, the competition saw many top players strengthen their reputations. A few youngsters also put their hand up, telling the rest of the world that they can compete on a regular basis.

The usual suspects, namely Australia, England, India and New Zealand, reached the semi-final. India got the better of England, and Australia defeated the White Ferns to set up a date with destiny. New Zealand, though, hit back instantly and claimed the bronze medal at England’s expense.

So, rather unsurprisingly, the best XI picked from the tournament largely consists of cricketers from these teams. Without further ado, here is a look at the best XI from cricket at the Commonwealth Games 2022.

Smriti Mandhana (India)

Smriti Mandhana was exceptional at Commonwealth Games 2022.
Smriti Mandhana was exceptional at Commonwealth Games 2022.

Mandhana was superb for India at the top of the order. She frequently got off to rollicking starts, and her finest hour came against arch-rivals Pakistan, where she creamed out an exquisite half-century.

Her exploits also allowed India to maintain the best run-rate in the batting powerplay, and she has no problems making this side.

(Runs - 159 runs in 5 matches @ 39.75, SR: 151.42)

Beth Mooney (Australia)

In a side glittered with stars, it’s often easy to forget what Mooney brings to the fore. But at the Commonwealth Games 2022, almost everyone got first-hand experience of what she is all about.

She wasn’t flashy but stood up whenever Australia needed, whether it was against Pakistan, against New Zealand in the semi-final or in the summit clash. She also finished as the leading run-scorer.

(Runs - 179 runs in 5 matches @ 44.75, SR: 133.58)

Sophie Devine (New Zealand)

In this New Zealand side, Devine doesn’t open but at No.3, she provides plenty of firepower and tactical nous. She ended the Commonwealth Games 2022 as the second-highest run-scorer and at times, single-handedly carried the White Ferns to a third-placed finish, beating hosts England.

Devine was also excellent with the ball, bagging six wickets at an average a shade under 15.

(Runs - 177 runs in 5 matches @ 44.25, SR: 115.68; 6 wickets @ 14.83, ER: 6.59)

Jemimah Rodrigues (India)

Jemimah didn’t quite get going in the final, only returning with a run-a-ball 33, despite the asking rate demanding something more cavalier. Prior to that, however, she played two very crucial knocks – one to post an above-par total against Barbados, and another to ensure India had something to defend against England in the semi-final.

Apart from the sumptuous drives, there was a bit of steel about Jemimah’s batting, and she could well be coming of age in international cricket.

(Runs - 146 runs in 5 matches @ 73, SR: 116.8)

Harmanpreet Kaur (India) (C)

The Indian skipper was at her belligerent best, especially against Australia. She bagged a pair of fifties against the eventual winners and on both occasions showcased how she remains one of India’s greatest clutch players.

Harmanpreet Kaur marshaled her troops well throughout the competition and, on another day, would’ve become the first Indian women’s captain to win a major trophy.

(Runs - 137 runs in 5 matches @ 34.25, SR: 139.79)

Tahlia McGrath (Australia)

Under quite surreal circumstances, McGrath took to the field for the final, despite testing positive for COVID-19. She didn’t quite enjoy her outing, though, only scoring two and being expensive in the two overs that she bowled.

Before that, however, she displayed just why she is rated so highly. McGrath powered Australia to victory against Pakistan with the bat, and played a pivotal role in the win against New Zealand too. She also ended the Commonwealth Games 2022 as the second-highest wicket-taker.

(Runs - 128 runs in 5 matches @ 42.66, SR: 148.83; 8 wickets @ 12.12, ER: 6.92)

Ashleigh Gardner (Australia)

Another irresistible Australian all-rounder who has the knack of turning up when most required. She did it twice against India, all while portraying different sides to her game.

Gardner was serene in the group encounter and was explosive in the final. Among all of that batting craze, she also picked up three wickets against India in the summit clash, which included the prized scalp of Harmanpreet.

(Runs - 96 runs in 5 matches @ 96, SR: 137.14; 5 wickets @ 12.6, ER: 4.2)

Amy Jones (England) (wk)

Jones might not have batted this deep in T20 cricket recently, but her primary role in this side is to don the gloves and act as a fail-safe option to avert crisis.

Throughout the Commonwealth Games 2022, she showed how far her batting had come and that she could, if required, bat a lot higher for England. Jones also remains one of the best wicket-keepers on the planet.

(Runs - 114 runs in 5 matches @ 38, SR: 121.27)

Katherine Brunt (England)

The other English cricketer to be a part of this eleven is Katherine Brunt. England’s campaign ended in disappointment, with them ultimately finishing fourth. But during the group phase, they were as good as any side at the Commonwealth Games 2022.

Brunt was a major driving force behind that upturn, regularly picking up wickets at the top and keeping a lid on the run-scoring. She only bagged five wickets in as many games in the Commonwealth Games 2022, but her economy rate was well under six.

(5 wickets in 5 matches @ 12.6, ER: 5.06)

Jess Jonassen (Australia)

Jonassen began the Commonwealth Games 2022 superbly, bagging a four-wicket haul against India in the tournament opener. She fell away a little thereafter, although she never allowed the batters to get on top of her – something a wicket-tally of seven and economy rate of 6.68 testifies for.

With her left-arm spin and ability to bowl at the death, she brings plenty of variety to this side.

(7 wickets in 5 matches at 16.71, ER: 6.68)

Renuka Singh Thakur (India)

This team wouldn’t have been complete with Renuka, eh? The Indian pacer caused batters all sorts of problems with her swing and seam movement.

She was also the only bowler to notch up two four-wicket hauls, eventually picking up nine of her 11 wickets in the powerplay alone. The right-arm eventually ended as the highest wicket-taker.

India have long been looking for a pace-bowling spearhead and in Renuka, that search might just have ended.

(11 wickets in 5 matches @ 9.45, ER: 5.47)

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Edited by Ankush Das
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