Mithali Raj: An Unsung Indian Legend

Mithali Raj added another feather to her crown yesterday when she became the highest run scorer in the world in Women’s cricket.

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The name of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is usually enunciated with profound deference all across the globe.

The Indians deify him as the God of cricket and quite frankly there isn’t a single soul in the world who hasn’t heard of him. The Master Blaster ruled the 22 yards in every possible corner of the world for nearly two and a half decades. If Mithali Raj decides to make this world cup her swansong, this would be her 18th year in the international arena since her debut in 1999 against Ireland.

Mithali Raj added another feather to her crown yesterday when she became the highest run scorer in the world in Women’s cricket. She is the only women to have more than 6000 runs (6026 precisely) under her name. The previous holder of this title was Charlotte Edwards (5992 runs), the eminent English batter. Since she made her debut at the age of 17, Mithali Raj cemented her position in the team with her impeccable technique and sang-froid. The way she constructs her innings is an exhibition of her imperturbable attitude towards the game. The record she created yesterday was just one example of her manifold achievements. Let’s take a quick peek at the pinnacle points of her career which are unknown to most people –

  1. 214: Her highest score in test cricket that she made in the age of 19 against England at Taunton. Tendulkar got his first in 1999 at the age of 26 against New Zealand at Sardar Patel Stadium.

  1. 51.52: Mithali’s batting average in the 50 overs format. Tendulkar finished his ODI career at 44.83.
  2. 109.68: Raj’s batting average in successful run chases. Virat Kohli is regarded as the master of chasing all around the world. He averages 90.9 in successful run chases.
  3. 154.33: Mithali’s ODI batting average against Sri Lanka which is way better than other batters. She also averages 111.66 against Ireland, and 52.40 against Pakistan.
  4. 47: Number of occasions she was not out in the One Day Internationals.
  5. 7: Number of consecutive fifties she scored in the ODIs. She achieved this feat twice in the years of 2006 and 2010.

It is known to all that the path towards excellence in any demesne is adorned with thorns. Every true legend suffers veritably in this journey and overcomes every impediment in their way with their fortitude. Virat Kohli compensated his appalling streak in England with four centuries in Australia. Tendulkar propelled his team to a World Cup triumph in 2011 after making a duck in the last match of the previous edition in 2007. But all of these predicaments were cognate to the game itself. In a country where “gender equality” is just another mere notion, Mithali Raj faced challenges that couldn’t be solved by wielding the bat. Even when the world Cup had commenced this year, Raj was asked to name her favourite ‘male’ cricketer in the press conference.

Her 6026 might seem Lilliputian in comparison with the gargantuan number of 18426, but considering the other factors and the statistics given here, it can be said that this mere ‘Mortal’ has even surpassed the ‘God’ through her achievements in this wonderful game.

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