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Jul 13, 2017 04:45 PM IST | Source:

Mithali Raj: All you need to know about the women's cricket team captain

Mithali Raj, who belongs to a Tamil family, was born in Jodhpur in 1982 — just a year before Kapil Dev's team won the 1983 World Cup.

On Wednesday, Indian women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj danced down the track and drove Kristen Beams' flighted delivery firmly towards mid-off and picked a single.

Though just a single, the moment will remain enshrined in history of the sport as it helped Raj become the highest run scorer in Women's One Day Internationals (WODIs). She surpassed 5992 runs record of the England cricketer Charlotte Edwards.

Mithali Raj, who belongs to a Tamil family, was born in Jodhpur in 1982 — just a year before Kapil Dev's team won the 1983 World Cup.

Raj's father served in the Indian Air Force and wanted her to become a cricketer. She spent her childhood in Hyderabad and attended the St. John's School where she started playing cricket along with her elder brother. She would often practise at the Keyes Girls High School in Secunderabad and would be seen playing for long hours, often with male cricketers in the nets.

Raj was picked for the Indian team when she was just 17 years old. In 1999, she made her debut against Ireland in a WODI match in England and scored an unbeaten 114 runs on debut.

She made her Test debut against England in Lucknow in 2002. Later that year, she registered the highest individual women's Test score of 214 in Taunton against the same opposition.

India needed in-form Raj in the 2002 World Cup, but the team's chances got hampered when she fell sick during the tournament.

In 2004, she was appointed the captain of the women's team and has since led the side in more than 100 WODIs. She holds the record for having captained a national team in second most number of WODIs.

Under her leadership, India reached the final of the World Cup for the first time in 2005, where they lost to Australia. A year later, the team won their first Test series in England.

In the domestic circuit, she has represented Air India and played for the Railways since 2006.

The part-time leg-break bowler was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2003 and the Padma Shri in 2015.

Averaging 51 in both Tests and WODIs, Raj has scored six international centuries and has been dismissed five times in the nineties.

She had earlier become the second female cricketer to cross 5,000 WODI runs. Raj also holds the record for the most consecutive fifties (seven) in the WODI format and has scored whopping total of 63 fifties in international cricket.

With nearly 8,400 runs to her name in international cricket, she is India's highest female run scorer in all three formats.
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