A book before the show and then all applauds! The story of this legend, every single time. One of India’s most successful and smart captains and a player, born to inspire! Mithali Raj is certainly ruling!
Mithali Raj’s international career started at the age of 17 when she was picked for the ODI series in Ireland in the year 1999. During her debut match, she registered her maiden century, scoring an unbeaten 114 runs. She was one of the only two Indian women to make a century on debut, the other being Reshma Gandhi also making her century on debut in the same match itself. She was also the youngest player – male or female – to score a century in ODI cricket, a record which stands even to this day.
She later played her first test match in 2000-01 season when she was picked for the Test match against South Africa in Lucknow. In the very next year, in 2002, she entered her name in the record books by scoring the highest individual score in Women’s Tests at that time. It was made during the second test match against England at Taunton when she scored 214 runs surpassing Karen Rolton’s record of an unbeaten 209. Although that record did not stand for long, as Kiran Baluch of Pakistan scored 242 against the West Indies in 2004.
Captaining the Indian Cricket Team
After narrowly missing out of the final team for the 1997 Women’s World Cup and not playing in the 2000 Women’s World Cup due to illness, Mithali Raj ended up captaining the side for the 2005 Women’s World Cup in South Africa. Under her leadership, India overcame teams such as England to finish second on the points table, behind Australia. India ended up defeating New Zealand in the semi-finals with Mithali Raj being the architect of the victory, scoring a classy 91 off 104 balls to set up a target which they successfully defended, exacting revenge over the narrow loss to the same team during the league phase. In that match too, Mithali Raj top-scored for India making a half-century as they fell short of New Zealand’s score by 16 runs. She led India to their first World Cup final but lost to Australia in the finals, who had beaten them quite comprehensively. Mithali Raj ended up scoring the highest runs for India during the tournament, amassing a total of 199 runs from 7 matches scoring two half-centuries.
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