Mithali Raj © Getty Images
Mithali Raj © Getty Images

On June 26, 1999, Mithali Raj made her debut at the age of 17. Not to forget that the Indian cricket was renowned for its achievements by the men counterpart. The women cricketers were not celebrated despite their stellar performances. And thus began Mithali’s journey to fame…

In the same year, Virender Sehwag and Ashish Nehra made their debuts, and they are now former cricketers. Mithali, however, is unwilling to hang up her boots. Her hunger to score runs is not sated yet.

With 6,190 runs in 186 ODIs, Mithali is the highest run-scorer in women’s ODIs.

On her 35th birthday, let us take a look at Mithali’s top knocks.

114* against Ireland, 1999

This was Mithali’s first ODI, and she could not have asked for anything better. She scored a century on debut against Ireland at Milton Keynes. She tops the list of women cricketers to score a century on ODI debut. She is also the youngest to score a century on debut.

India went on to score 258 and wrapped up Ireland for 97.

214 against England, 2002

Mithali made her debut in Tests in 2002. After bundling England for 329, the onus rested on the Indian batters to clear the deficit. But they had a terrible start, losing openers early. Mithali, however, removed India from ruins and slammed a double-century, breaking another record in the process. She went past Australia’s Karen Rolton’s record of 209 by smashing 214. Her 10-hour stay comprised of 19 boundaries.

The record lasted for two years. Pakistan’s Kiran Baluch, who played her only Test, went past Mithali getting 242. The record still stands.

91* against New Zealand, 2005

It was 2005 Women’s World Cup, the first occasion when India made it to the final of the event. Mithali collected another record. During the semi-final against New Zealand, Mithali scored an unbeaten 91, the then highest individual score by an Indian Women in World Cup. They thrashed New Zealand and set up a final with Australia, eventually losing the title. The record stood tall for 8 years until Harmanpreet Kaur arrived. She overtook Mithali by scoring 107 against England in the second match of 2013 Women’s World Cup.

108* against Sri Lanka, 2006

The Women’s Asia Cup in 2006 saw India emerge victorious against countries such as Sri Lanka and Pakistan. India lifted the title for the second time. The tournament was Pakistan’s first appearance in a major international event. India defeated Sri Lanka in the final by 97 runs. Mithali anchored the innings and powered India to a challenging score of 269 for 4. She scored an unbeaten 108. Mithali was well supported by Jaya Sharma (42). They added 94 runs for the opening wicket. Mithali then followed it with a century stand with Anjum Chopra (42). Mithali ended at the second spot in the list of leading run-getters of the tournament, after Jaya.

64 against South Africa, 2017

The Women’s World Cup Qualifier was crucial for India to seal their berth in the 2017 World Cup. India were to play South Africa, followed by Bangladesh and Pakistan in the Super League stage.

The run-rate was sluggish at the beginning. South African bowlers had choked India. In came Mithali and accelerated the innings. She scored a brisk 63, also stitching up a 96-run stand with Mona Meshram. India won by 49 runs. It was in this encounter when she became the second player, after Charlotte Edwards, to score 5,500 ODI runs. A few months later, she went past Charlotte to become the leading run-scorer in ODIs during the World Cup.