Meg Lanning: The megastar

Mel Lanning.jpg

Her name does lend itself to the Megastar tag, but it has always been the phenomenal batting displays that have brought Meg Lanning to the fore. Right from the outset, when at the age of 14, she became the first girl to play for the first XI of a Public Schools team by representing Carey Grammar.

International success was not too far away. In her second ODI, Lanning made 103. Thus, at 18 years and 288 days, she became the youngest Australian cricketer to hit an international hundred. That's right, the youngest cricketer ... male or female. That was not her only gender independent first. She also became the first Australian cricketer to score 2000 T20I runs.

In ODIs, Lanning scores at a 51-plus average and a strike rate of almost 95, a combination few cricketers in the world are capable of. Hence, the effect is often breathtaking. As was demonstrated by the 45-ball hundred against New Zealand at Sydney, once again a gender-independent record for the fastest hundred by an Australian.

In T20Is, she rattles along at an even faster strike rate of 117. When, at the age of 22, she captained Australia to the World T20I title win, she scored 257 runs at a strike rate of 158.6, including 126 from 65 balls against Ireland. No woman, and just three men, have managed a higher individual innings in that format.

Lanning was also the top-scorer in the first two versions of the WBBL.

Named by Wisden as the inaugural Leading Women's Cricketer (in 2015), Lanning is a canny captain as well. And as she turns just 27, she is perhaps just beginning to scale the heights of a formidable career.

Meg Lanning was born on March 25, 1992.

Text: Arunabha Sengupta
Illustration: Maha