Indian Women Cricket Team skipper, Mithali Raj is regarded as one of the finest cricketers to have ever played the game in the history of women’s cricket. In the span of 18 years in International cricket since debut in 1999, she has broken many records and gone from a young talented debutant back in the day who scored an unbeaten 114* on ODI debut to a veteran now. Her consistency and commitment to the game is what sets her apart. She recently surpassed Charlotte Edwards of England to become the leading run scorer and first woman cricketer to reach the 6000 run mark in the One day format. She has scored 6190 runs in 186 matches at an average of 51.58.
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) July 12, 2017
Mithali Raj is also the only player to score 7 consecutive 50s in ODIs which speaks highly of the consistency she has shown in the game. Raj is also the first Indian Captain to lead India to the World Cup final twice in 2005 and 2017. She had a great run of form in the recently concluded World Cup in which she was the second highest run getter with 409 runs in 9 matches at an average of 45.44, just behind Tammy Beaumont of England who scored 410 runs.
Raj has showed her class over the years with some great innings. We take a look at them:-
114* against Ireland (ODI)
Mithali Raj made her debut at the age of 16 years, 205 days versus Ireland in 1999 at Campbell Park in Milton Keynes. Ireland won the toss and put India to bat first. There were two debutants in the Indian Opening pair in the form of Mithali Raj and Reshma Gandhi. Mithali Raj put on a great display of her caliber and scored an unbeaten 114* on ODI debut which is the highest score by an Indian on debut and also became the youngest to score a hundred in women’s ODIs. It is still Raj’s highest score in ODI cricket. The innings marked the arrival of Raj to international cricket with a bang as it showed the world the talent she possessed at that young an age. Indians did not lose any wicket in the innings as Raj’s partner Reshma Gandhi also scored an unbeaten 104* to put on a target of 259 for Ireland. In reply, India bundled up Ireland for 97 runs and handed a 161 run victory to India.
214 against England (Tests)
India were playing the second match of the 2 match test series against England at Taunton in August 2002. India put in England to bat after winning the toss as England were all out for 329 in the first innings. As India lost early wickets, Raj came in to bat at number 4 with skipper Anjum Chopra at the crease and put on a splendid batting performance, churning out a gem of an innings for the world to see as she scored 214 runs off 407 balls. She broke Karen Rolton’s record of the World’s highest individual Test score of 209*. The innings gave glimpses of the amazing things which were to follow in Indian cricket. It still remains the second highest score in Tests as the record was later broken by Kiran Baluch of Pakistan who scored 242 against West Indies in 2004.
73* against Pakistan (T20)
India were playing against Pakistan in the final of the T20 Asia Cup at Bangkok in December 2016. India won the toss and elected to bat first in the final. Mithali Raj opened the innings along with Smriti Mandhana. Pakistan bowlers chipped away with wickets regularly but Raj held one end and anchored the Indian innings to take them to a defendable score. Raj scored 73* off 65 balls with 7 fours and 1 six as no other Indian batsman other than Jhulan Goswami could rreach double figures. It was a very crucial innings from Raj as it was the final match and her innings toook India to 121/5 in 20 overs. India restricted Pakistan on 104/6 in 20 overs to win the Asia Cup by 17 runs.