For more than two decades, there have been two batters who have conquered the world, Sachin Tendulkar and Mithali Raj. Both of them coincidentally made their debuts at the exact same age, 16 years and 205 days.
The last three days have been exceptionally fruitful for Raj. She became the highest run scorer in women’s internationals and reclaimed the number one spot in ODIs after 16 years. Throughout her career there have been some exceptional moments and records that are unparalleled. Here are some of the notable records Raj has to her name:
Most International runs
Earlier in 2021, in the ODI series against South Africa in Lucknow, Raj became the second batter to reach 10k runs in women’s internationals after Charlotte Edwards (10,273). In the third ODI against England in the ongoing tour, Raj went past Edwards tally on the back of four consecutive half-centuries. Now, with 10,337 runs to her name in internationals, Raj is at the summit of women’s cricket. She is also the highest run scorer in W-ODIs (7304).
A prolonged career
Making her debut at a young age, Raj has had a long successful career. She made her international debut in 1999 against Ireland in ODIs. It has been 22 years and seven days since the start of her career. In ODIs, let be among men or women, only Sachin has had a longer career than Raj. However, it’s not too far before she breaks it. In these 22 years, Raj has played 217 matches, which is the most among women in ODIs.
Youngest player to a century
Raj was 16 years and 205 days when she made her debut against Ireland in 1999 where she scored an unbeaten 114. This was also the first instance of a women batter scoring a century on debut against a country. Fellow debutant Reshma Gandhi, with whom she shared an opening partnership of 258 in that match, also scored an unbeaten 104, but Raj was the first to reach her ton. Raj also became the youngest centurion in all internationals, surpassing Shahid Afridi, who scored a debut ton at 16 years and 217 days.
Most consecutive 50+ scores in ODIs
Raj has scored 65 scores of over 50, 58 half-centuries and seven centuries, the most 50+ scores in W-ODIs. Out of the 65, seven came in succession in 2017, the most consecutive innings with a 50+ scores in women’s cricket. In 2021, Raj is on the back of four successive 50+ scores in ODIs, which is the fourth time in her career.
The chase masters
Off the total 7,304 ODI runs Raj has scored, 61.6 percent of them have come in winning cause, underlining her vitality in the team’s success. She averages 73.6 in the matches India has won, the most among batters who have scored 1500+ runs in wins in W-ODIs. The record skyrockets when chasing. Raj has scored over 3000 runs while chasing and more than 2000 runs have come in wins. In a successful chase she has a stupendous average of 111.1. No batter who has scored 2000+ runs in a chase has bettered Raj’s average, not even Virat Kohli or MS Dhoni.
Most wins as a captain
Before the start of the ODI series, Raj was on the brink of breaking Belinda Clarke’s record of 83 W-ODI wins as captain. By guiding the team to victory in the third ODI, Raj went past Clarke to become the most successful captain in W-ODIs. She also holds the record for most matches as captain (140), the most wins as a player (124) and the most losses as a player (89).
Consistency, one of the key features
Raj’s average of 51.8 is the second best among women with 2000+ international runs. She has scored more than 500 runs in four years. Only Edwards has scored more than 500 across five years.