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Mithali Raj becomes the first player to play 200 ODIs

Mithali Raj became the first woman cricketer to play 200 One Day International matches. She was picked up in the India team at 16.

Shruti Banerjee
Last updated: 01.02.2019
Mithali Raj becomes the first player to play 200 ODIs | Sports Social Blog

If you criticise her, she will bounce back strongly. Always calm in every situation and handles pressure tactfully, India captain Mithali Raj has broken another record.

Mithali Raj became the first woman cricketer to play 200 One Day International matches. She achieved the feat during the third ODI match against White Ferns in their three-match ODI series at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Friday. There are probably few records left which she couldn’t achieve.

Having started playing at the age of 10, she was picked up in the India team at 16. At 16 years and 205 days, in her debut match against Ireland, she scored a century. From that time to today, she has been breaking the records only.

She is the only woman cricketer to score more than 6,000 runs in One Day Internationals (ODIs) with an average of 50 plus. No other batter is close to her. She is the first player to score seven consecutive 50s in ODIs. She also holds the record for most half-centuries in ODIs (52). During the Women's T20 Asia Cup in June 2018, she became the first player from India (either male or female) to score 2000 runs in T20Is, and also became the first woman cricketer to reach 2000 T20I runs. She is the only captain to lead India twice in ICC Women’s World Cup final, in 2005 and 2017.

19 years and 219 days - The duration of her international career which is the longest career among women cricketers. Now her 200 ODI appearances have added another feather in her cap. It took nearly 20 years of her career to reach this milestone. Since her debut, she has missed only 13 of the ODIs India women have played. During the course, India men have played more than 500 ODIs.

Just to inculcate the habit of early rising, Mithali Raj’s father Dorai Raj used to take her to the cricket practice where she used to play with the boys under the late Sampath Kumar’s guidance. He was the first person who said that Mithali will go a long way in cricket. Mithali, at the other end, used to love dancing and she used to play for her family’s happiness.

From her debut match against Ireland in the England tour in 1999 to reach her 50th ODI in 2005, it took 6 long years. Her game impressed everyone during the 2000 World Cup in New Zealand but after three games, she fell ill which caused her exclusion from the team. She bounced back during the home series against England in 2002 and her performance throughout the year earned her the first ‘Player of the Series’ award.

She scored an unbeaten 91 during the 2005 World Cup semi-final and took India to their first-ever World Cup final. Along with this, she holds another record in run chasing. She averages 111.29 in 48 successful chases where she was unbeaten 31 times. This average is better than MS Dhoni (103.07) and Virat Kohli (96.23). The next best average in successful run chases in women’s cricket is Australia captain Meg Lanning’s (78.34).

The passion for the game still keeps her going. Hope she plays for a few more years and achieves many more milestones.

Video: Watch Break fast with Champions with Mithali Raj

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