Mithali Raj, the Indian women’s team captain is heading towards breaking the record for the most runs in women’s One Day International cricket. The record is currently held by Charlotte Edwards, the former England captain, who holds the run-scoring record of 5,992.
Raj has already reached 5,959 runs during her ODI career, and will not be stopping there. She only has 34 runs to go to reach the top, and is likely to surpass the record-holding run total fairly quickly.
Not only is Raj set to pass the record set by Edwards, she is also going to be doing so in fewer matches.
Raj has been playing professional cricket for almost two decades. In 1999, at the age of 16, Raj made a century in her debut while playing against Ireland. Not only did she start out with a hundred in her first big match, she also became the youngest ODI century-holder.
At the age of 19, Raj hit the headlines again. This time, she had scored 214 runs in a Test match against England. At that time, she had reached the highest individual Test match run total. This record was beaten in 2004 by Kiran Baluch, a top Pakistan women’s team player.
While Raj has broken records, and continues to do so, in women’s cricket, she is also challenging records in men’s cricket. Sachin Tendulkar and Raj have both averaged over 40 in ODIs played over 15 calendar years. Tendulkar retired in 2013, while Raj, who is now 34, is likely to continue playing for some time, and therefore stands a good chance of bettering Tendulkar’s record.
India to Play Australia
Raj has been the skipper of the India women’s team since 2004, although she was not captain between 2008 and 2012. In 2005, when Raj was just 22-years-old, she led her team to their first ever Women’s World Cup final match. India was beaten by Australia in the 2004 Women’s World Cup.
India will meet Australia on Wednesday in what Raj hopes will be a game of ‘fearless’ cricket from her team.