Former India women’s team skipper, Mithali Raj on September 3, announced her retirement from the T20 International game format, only to focus on the 2021 ODI World Cup to be held in New Zealand.
India’s most-capped player in women’s cricket who became the first Indian to reach 2,000 runs in T20Is, also captained Indian women team’s first-ever T20I match against England in 2006.
Mithali Raj, who has 89 T20 innings to her name, has scored over 2364 runs including 17 fifties with a career-best not-out at 97.
The right-hand batsman in her last T20I match against England on March 9, 2019, remained unbeaten at 30 of 32 balls.
Mithali Raj in her 13 years of T20I career will be remembered for her unbelievable knocks and for the controversy in the last World T20 where she was excluded from the semifinal in the middle of the game. India eventually lost to England in the game.
Mithali has captained India in three T20 World Cups in 2012 (Sri Lanka), 2014 (Bangladesh) and 2016 (India).
Here are the top five knocks of her T20I career:
51* off 45 against Australia 2008
Mithali Raj’s unbeaten half-century against the might Aussies helped India to come close to a stiff target of 143. She stepped in the crease when India was down by two wickets with only 11 runs on the scoreboard. She, along with Jhulan Goswami chased the score, but India lost by 3 runs.
57 off 56 against England 2014
After opting to bat as captain, Mithali Raj saw wickets falling like bundles. India stood at 31 for 5. With the help of eight boundaries, she managed to set a solid target.
73* off 65 against Pakistan 2016
It is no doubt that when India and Pakistan face off against each other on the cricket field, tension grips the players. Under such clamour in the final of Asia Cup 2016, Mithali Raj concluded her innings with an unbeaten 73 off 65 balls. India won the match, and she was later named the Player of Match and the Player of the Series.
97* off 69 against Malaysia 2018
Mithali Raj in the 2018 Asia Cup smashed Malaysia bowlers to secure her career-best 97 not out off 69 balls. With the help of Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet and Deepti Sharma, India set a massive target of 169. Malaysia in response lost all their wickets only at 27.
76* off 61 against South Africa 2018
Playing after a year, Mithali Raj with her phenomenal knock in the first two matches made sure that nobody questions her form. She in her first game helped India secure an early lead by scoring 76 not out off 61 balls.
Mithali in her 203 ODI innings, has scored 6,720 runs with 125 not-out as her career-best inning. She has more than 50 half-centuries in her bag.
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