With their victory in the third ODI against New Zealand in Brisbane, Australia Women completed 21 ODI wins in a row – a glorious run that began in March 2018.
Australia equalled the record set by Ricky Ponting's men in 2003. And like that side, this too is an all-time great team in action. Having last lost an ODI back in October 2017, Australia matched the record at Brisbane against New Zealand with a dominant 232-run win.
That they reached the milestone in the absence of arguably their two best cricketers in Ellyse Perry, who missed the whole series, and captain Meg Lanning, who was out injured for the game, stands as a testament to their incredible depth. During the epic journey, the Australian side overcame every strong opposition, including England, India and West Indies.
To mark the occasion, we take a series-by-series look at their all-conquering run.
Australia vs India in India, 2017/18
Having lost to India in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup semi-final, this was payback. A consistent Nicole Bolton and an all-round Perry helped the visitors overshadow star India players such as Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur and Shikha Pandey. Alyssa Healy capped off the series win with her maiden ODI hundred. That performance would pave way for a great couple of years for Healy and, in the period where Australia have built their streak, Healy is the highest run-scorer for them with 1132 runs at an average of 56.60.
Pakistan vs Australia in Malaysia, 2018/19
The Australian bowlers were on fire in this series as they bowled Pakistan out for less than 125 twice. Australia introduced the spin duo of Georgia Wareham and Sophie Molineux, with both becoming an integral part of the set-up over the next two years. Molineux picked up 4/14 in her second game and 1/16 in 10 overs in the next. Lanning, Healy and Ash Gardner also made key contributions as Australia not only swept the series 3-0, but also stood out for the manner in which they dominated the matches.
Australia vs New Zealand in Australia, 2018/19
Australia were pushed close in the first game but were able to secure victory by five runs. This game was evidence that the team was not over-reliant on a few players. Where Lanning, Healy and Perry fell for single-digit scores, Rachael Haynes and Jess Jonassen helped New Zealand to a defendable total. Later, Jonassen took 4/43 to help close the game out. Perry played a starring role later in the series, notching up a maiden ODI century. Jonassen, fighting her way back into the squad after an injury lay-off, once again did a terrific job with a five-wicket haul in the second game. She has been instrumental in Australia's continued success, topping the wickets chart with 39 scalps during the streak.
3-0 v India— ICC (@ICC) October 7, 2020
3-0 v Pakistan
3-0 v New Zealand
3-0 v England
3-0 v West Indies
3-0 v Sri Lanka
3-0 v New Zealand
Meg Lanning and her troops equal Australia men's incredible record 👏
Their journey to the milestone: https://t.co/GBXUQUqfxG pic.twitter.com/vt5c9rHvDU
Australia vs England in England, 2019
Australia were run close by England in the first couple of games, but the strength of the pack once again hauled them to safety. Tested by England’s bowling attack in the first two games, Australia’s middle and lower order made key contributions. By the third game, they had warmed up enough and Perry, at her phenomenal best, knocked England out with a career-best 7/22. Her spell left England reeling at 21/6 before getting bundled for 75. Australia took the series 3-0 and went on to win the Ashes by a comfortable margin.
Australia vs West Indies in West Indies, 2019
A Schutt hat-trick, an all-round show from Perry and Healy grinding it out for a century were the highlights of another clinical Australia performance. In severe heat, the Aussies were pushed as Lanning was out with back spasm and Mooney forced to retire out due to exhaustion after a fine half-century in the second ODI. Despite adversities, Australia powered through in the series, showing strength across disciplines.
Australia vs Sri Lanka in Australia, 2019
Australia were at their ruthless best again. Haynes struck her maiden ODI hundred, Healy and Lanning were consistent as always, and even with Chamari Athapaththu trying her best to put up a fight for Sri Lanka, Australia drove home to another 3-0 whitewash. The clinical nature of the victories proved that this side was nearly unbeatable on their day.
Australia vs New Zealand in Australia, 2020
They hadn't played an ODI for over a year. They did not have Perry. They did not have Lanning for the last game. None of it mattered as Australia lorded over yet another series. There were contributions from the spinners, top order and pacers alike as Australia extended their streak. The amazing bench strength and quality in the side was on full display in the three-match series as they not only beat the White Ferns, but also did so without breaking much sweat.
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