Former India captain Shantha Rangaswamy has termed Mithali Raj as the ‘Sachin Tendulkar’ of women’s cricket. Rangaswamy hoped that Mithali’s record of most runs in international cricket will be retained for a long time.
The record for scoring the most runs in ODIs was already recorded in Mithali’s name. She broke former England captain Charlotte Edwards’ record for the most runs in all formats on Saturday. Only these two players have scored more than 10,000 runs in international women’s cricket.
India’s Test and ODI captain has scored runs in the 50-over format at an average of 51.80. Shanta, also a member of BCCI’s Apex Council, said, “His records tell the whole story. What he has achieved is on par with the achievements of the greats Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar. I have no hesitation in saying that she will be on top for a long time. I don’t think his record will be broken for the time being.
Mithali scored a half-century on Saturday to help India win over England in the third ODI. Apart from the performance of the rest of India’s batsmen, Mithali’s strike rate was also questioned but Shanta feels that such criticism is not right.
“The strike rate matters only when all the batsmen are performing well. Barring yesterday, he hardly got the support of any other batsman in the series. Had she not been there, the team would have struggled to even reach 200 runs.
On the poor performance of the Indian batsmen, Shanta said that all-rounder Deepti Sharma can be dropped at number three. In the first match, Poonam Raut and in the remaining two matches Jemima Rodrigues came to bat at this number but she failed to make an impact.
Shanta said, ‘She is still young and will start scoring runs soon. Poonam Raut also did well against South Africa but if she feels a change at number three is necessary, then Deepti could be a good choice.