After becoming the first Indian woman to score 10000 runs in her international career, Indian skipper Mithali Raj has added another feather to her cap by becoming the first female cricketer to reach 7000 runs in ODIs. She reached this landmark during the fourth ODI against South Africa in which she scored 45 runs.
Mithali Raj started playing for India in the ODIs from the year 1999 when she got selected to play against Ireland during the tour of Ireland and England. She scored a century on debut and was among the few players to have achieved this feat at that time. Incidentally, she was also the youngest player, male or female, to score a century in ODI cricket at 16 years and 205 days, beating Shahid Afridi’s record by 12 days. Her ODI career, now spanning 21 years and 261 days is currently the longest in women’s cricket and is just short of the all-time great Sachin Tendulkar. She has been breaking many records since that debut, which are as follows:
Making India Proud since 1999 👏🙌
Mithali Raj completes yet another milestone.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) March 12, 2021
- The highest number of runs in Women’s ODIs: Mithali Raj was already the highest run-getter in Women’s ODI cricket and is now the only woman to have made 7000 runs in this format. She has already scored 10000 runs in international cricket. She is head and shoulders above the next cricketer on the list, now-retired Charlotte Edwards, who has scored 5992 runs.
- Most matches in her career: Mithali Raj has now represented India in 213 ODIs, which is the highest number of ODIs played by a woman. She was the first female cricketer to play 200 ODIs in her career, surpassing Charlotte Edwards’ record of 191 ODI appearances.
- Most matches as captain: Mithali Raj has now captained India in 136 ODIs which is the highest number of times any player has stood as captain of her country in Women’s ODIs. Second on the list is again Charlotte Edwards, who has played in 117 matches as captain of her ODI side.
- Most consecutive matches played: She has also played 109 matches back-to-back, which is the highest number of consecutive ODIs played by any woman in her career ahead of South African Mignon du Preez, who has played 101 matches consecutively.
- Most number of 50-plus scores: Mithali Raj has scored 50-plus runs in ODIs 61 times, having scored 54 half-centuries and 7 centuries, surpassing Charlotte Edwards’ record of 55. She is also the female cricketer with the highest number of half-centuries. She also holds the record of the highest number of centuries by an Indian in Women’s ODIs.
- Most consecutive half-centuries: Mithali Raj is the female cricketer scoring the highest number of back-to-back fifties (7) breaking the record of 6 consecutive fifties that was held jointly by Australians Lindsay Reeler and Ellyse Perry and England’s Charlotte Edwards.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) March 12, 2021
Mithali Raj’s Run Progression
Having an average of over 50 runs per innings, Mithali Raj is known for her ability to play long innings and stitch partnerships. She builds the innings using textbook shots and playing along the ground. She does not favor taking risks and as a result, she does not play a lot of low-percentage shots. At the same time, she is willing to change her game a little and adapt as per the needs of the modern game.
She is known to be a very consistent batter in women’s cricket, displayed very clearly if we look at her run-progression across her career. She has taken a similar number of innings to reach every 1000 runs as is evident from the table below. Her run progression graph is almost a straight line.
|Cumulative Runs||No. of Innings|
Mithali Raj’s Record Against Opponents
Mithali Raj has done well with all the opponents that she has played against. She holds the following record versus other countries that she plays against.
Having played games against all nations, it is startling to note that her average ranges between 40-50 against most opponents. She has been particularly strong against Sri Lanka, scoring 1100+ runs from 28 games, with an average of over 150 topped up with 3 centuries, including a career-best 125* in 2018.
She has also scored 1798 runs against England in 55 ODIs, with an average of 47.31 runs. She has scored as many as 17 half-centuries, which translates to a half-century in every 3 games that she has played against them.
She has almost scored 1000 runs against both Australia and New Zealand, which shows her prowess against the most established cricketing powers. What is amazing is that throughout her career of 213 ODIs, she just has 6 ducks to her name.
#ICYMI, Mithali Raj made it to the 10K Runs Club, now only behind England’s Charlotte Edwards. 🙌
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) March 13, 2021
Mithali Raj’s Record in Asia & Rest of World
Mithali Raj has done equally well in both Asian conditions and other parts of the world like Australia, England, and the West Indies. The following table gives an insight of her performance in Asian and non-Asian conditions:
|Particulars||Matches||Innings||Not Out||Runs||High Score||Avg||100s||50s||0s|
|Rest of World||104||95||16||3402||114*||43.06||2||29||3|
With 3600 runs in Asia and 3400 runs in non-Asian conditions from a similar number of matches, we can assume that she has been a versatile player capable and experienced in playing on any kind of surface.
Mithali Raj’s Performance in Tournaments
Last but not the least, Mithali Raj has done admirably well in major ODI tournaments like the 50-over World Cups, the 2017 World Cup Qualifiers and the Asia Cup. The statistics for the tournaments and the other matches are as follows:
Scoring just under 2000 runs in major tournaments, Mithali Raj has also been an important contributor in the major tournaments where Team India has featured in. She is the 1st Indian and 5th woman cricketer overall to score over 1,000 World Cup runs. With 3 of her 7 centuries coming in major tournaments, she has shown her value as a player who rises to occasions. In fact, she is the only Indian, male or female, to lead her side in the 2 World Cup finals. She aims to finish off on a high as she looks set to appear in yet another World Cup next year. Who knows if she can lead India to another final or win it for them? Only time will tell.
Throughout her career, Mithali Raj has made her country and herself proud by reaching various milestones and breaking various records. Her achievements have been recognized as she has won the Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World in 2017, Arjuna Award in 2003, and the Padma Shri in 2015, both by the Government of India. In November 2020, Raj was nominated for the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for ICC Female Cricketer of the Decade, and the award for women’s ODI cricketer of the decade. As she completes 7000 runs in ODIs and 10000 runs overall, we at FemaleCricket congratulate her and wish her the very best for the future.