Although India lost to Australia in the ICC Women’s World Cup league match, skipper Mithali Raj achieved a personal milestone. She became the all-time highest run-getter in the history of women’s ODIs, at the County Ground, Bristol.
Mithali Raj started off her World Cup campaign in grand style. She created a world record by smashing seven consecutive fifty-plus scores; which makes her the first woman player to achieve the feat. Against Australia, Raj surpassed former England captain Charlotte Edwards‘s earlier record of 5992 runs when she reached 34* and thereby becoming the highest scorer in ODIs.
Raj reached this landmark in her 183rd ODI, taking 164 innings – 16 less than the former England player, with an average of over 50, with five centuries and 49 half-centuries. The world record run came when she pushed Ellyse Perry’s ball towards cover for a single. She achieved the 6000-run milestone in the same match too. She hit a huge six to the leg-break bowler Kristen Beams, after which she received a standing ovation from the Indian bench.
In her 18-year international career, she has gone from strength to strength, smashing one international record after another. The mountain of runs is the testimony to Raj’s longevity and unflinching passion towards the game and her team.
“There is an inherent clarity of thought that emanates in her batting. She is technically very correct and is blessed with the gift of timing. She knows when to accelerate and when to defend and is extremely well organized as a person and this personality trait extends to her batting as well. This is precisely what has kept her in good stead all these years,” Snehal Pradhan stated about her former captain. “Even in domestic matches, if you don’t get her out in the first 20 balls…it’s over. She would invariably go on to make a big score,” Snehal, who had played against Mithali in numerous domestic games, noted.
As soon as Mithali accomplished the feat, the cricket fraternity came in unison to praise and congratulate her on twitter. Some of them are:
Congratulations, @M_Raj03! Becoming the highest run scorer in Women's ODIs is a huge achievement. Also, superb knock today!
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 12, 2017
Wonderful to hear that @M_Raj03 has become the all-time highest run-scorer in women's ODIs. Congratulations!
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) July 12, 2017
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) July 12, 2017
— ajinkyarahane88 (@ajinkyarahane88) July 12, 2017
Raj is likely to break another record held by Edwards in the not too distant future. With the 105 games that she has captained, second on the list behind the ex-England skipper’s 117. In those 105 games, India has fared better than the fixtures in which she’s been back in the ranks. Winning 61 percent as opposed to 53 percent when she has not played as captain.