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Happy Birthday Meg Lanning: Australia's Captain Supreme and a Modern Day Great

Lanning remains one of the game's and Australia's most dominant captains with her leading the side in 134 games across all formats, winning 107 of them and losing 24.

Happy Birthday Meg Lanning: Australia's Captain Supreme and a Modern Day Great

Meg Lanning’s name has been synonymous with Australian women’s cricket over the past decade because of not only her personal achievements but her legacy as a captain over the past six years. Lanning, 28, is still young but she has become one of the greatest of her generation and remains in line to be the best if she continues the way she has since making her international debut in 2010 in a T20I.

“The Megstar”, as she is called,made her ODI debut against England in 2011 but made an impact as early as her second ODI, where she slammed an unbeaten 103 at the age of 18 years and 288 days to become the youngest ever Australian — male or female — to score an international century. Lanning’s aggressive brand of cricket allowed her to smash the fastest century by an Australian when she slammed a hundred of just 45 balls against New Zealand at Sydney in 2012.

Not only that, she also went on to become the youngest ever captain of Australia at the age of 21 in 2014 when she took over the reigns from an injured Jodie Fields in the middle of an Ashes series. Despite questions being asked, she led the side to their third consecutive World T20 win and led from the front with a match-winning quickfire 44 in the final. Not only that, she slammed a 65-ball-126 in the group stages against Ireland, which was the highest score in Women’s T20Is till 2019, when she broke her own record against England where she slammed 133. However, that lasted a few months with her teammate Alyssa Healy scoring 148 against Sri Lanka.

In 2015, not only did she captain Australia to an Ashes series win but also won Wisden’s inaugural Leading Female Cricketer in the World. However, the next couple of years was a draught of sorts with Australia struggling to win things. In 2016, West Indies beat them to the World T20 title and in 2017, thanks to Harmanpreet Kaur’s brilliance, they were knocked out of the WODI World Cup in semis. Not only that, she also missed the 2017-18 Ashes series because of a shoulder injury.

However, Lanning came back stronger and once again took Australia to the top. Under her leadership, Australia completed their unbeaten run in ODIs for a record number of games (21) last year when they beat New Zealand in Brisbane on October 7. Lanning’s women equaled Ricky Ponting’s side, which won 21 games in 2003. They haven’t been beaten since their loss to England on October 29, 2017 with the streak starting in March 2018 with their win over India. Others who have fallen prey to Lanning’s side are Pakistan, West Indies, England, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

Lanning also led them to back to back World T20 wins in West Indies (2018) and Australia (2020) — which was perhaps the crowning moment of her career. She became only the third Aussies after Lyn Larsen (1988) and Michael Clarke (2015) to win the World Cup at her home soil.

Lanning remains one of the game’s and Australia’s most dominant captains with her leading the side in 134 games across all formats, winning 107 of them and losing 24.

She’s also one of the most accomplished batters of her times with tons of runs under her belt. In 82 ODIs, she has scored 3856 runs at an average of 55.08, scoring 14 centuries and 15 half-centuries. In T20I cricket, Lanning has 2859 runs from 107 matches including two centuries and 13 fifties. She averages 36.18 in T20Is and has a strike-rate of 115.98.

Lanning is 11th in the list of all-time highest run-getters in women’s ODIs and is third among Australians. She’s the third highest run-getter in women’s T20Is behind New Zealand’s Suzie Bates (3301) and England’s Sarah Taylor (3062). In March 2018, she also became the first Australian — male or female — to breach the 2000-run mark in T20Is. She took 73 matches to reach the landmark. She also has the most centuries in women’s ODIs with 14 to her name with Bates are second at 10.

Lanning’s records will only get better with hopefully her peak yet to come ahead in her career. With Meg turning 29 on Thursday, she has the time to become perhaps Australia’s greatest ever and a legendary, household name if she isn’t one already.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking