Poonam Raut (Above) scored 109 in the 320-run stand for the first wicket with Deepti Sharma
Poonam Raut (Above) scored 109 in the 320-run stand for the first wicket with Deepti Sharma © Getty Images

Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut etched their names in the history books on Tuesday, as their 320-run opening stand against Ireland Women at Potchefstroom is now the highest ever partnership in Women’s cricket. Deepti scored 188 of those, is the second highest individual score in Women’s cricket, behind Australia’s Belinda Clarke’s 229. Poonam retired hurt for 109, as India managed to put up a staggering total of 358 for 2 in their 50 overs. Former India cricketer and Chairperson of the Women’s selection committee, Shantha Rangaswamy feels that the record set by Deepti and Poonam is a great achievement for Indian women’s cricket. READ: Deepti-Poonam go past Dravid-Ganguly; other statistical highlights from IND Women-IRE Women clash

“It’s a great achievement for Indian women’s cricket. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Deepti is young and has a fabulous temperament. Her batting stands apart from most others and I think she has the capability to become one of the best all-rounders in world cricket in the years to come,” Shantha said, according to espncricinfo.com. Regular opener Smriti Mandhana has been recalled to the India squad for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. In Smriti’s absence however, it has been Deepti, who has been carrying the burden of the top-order, which has been over-reliant on Mithali Raj. READ: BCCI congratulates India Women for their all-round show

Along with Deepti, Shantha feels that Poonam too is an asset to the Indian team. “For one-day cricket and Test cricket, Poonam is a big asset to the Indian team,” Shantha said.

“I cannot forget the big centuries she and [MD] Thirushkamini got in Mysore against South Africa. Poonam has always been in my scheme of things. Her knock against Australia steered India to victory last year in an ODI. It was crucial in the context of the game. In England, where the ball will swing and bounce more, Poonam’s presence there will definitely benefit the team’s batting,” she added.

Along with being a good batswoman, Poonam is also an excellent fielder, which justifies her selection in the Indian team for the upcoming World Cup in England. “These girls are excellent fielders. Deepti excels in close-in fielding; Poonam is a very good fielder in the deep. She throws brilliantly and puts in good dives,” Shantha said.