Will India ever find Mithali Raj 2.0?

Former Indian skipper Mithali Raj became the first woman cricketer to have an international career lasting more than two decades.
Mithali achieved the feat against South Africa at the Reliance Stadium in Vadodara. The right-handed batswoman, who made her ODI debut against Ireland in June 1999, has completed 20 years and 105 days of her career in the 50-over game. She is also the only female player to have played ODI cricket for over two decades.

With more than 6,000 runs in ODI, Mithali is considered as one of the most successful cricketers in world cricket. Coming to white jersey cricket, she has played 10 Tests.

India was finalists at the 2005 World Cup under her captaincy. India finished the year 2005 by winning Asia Cup. She led India to famous Test win against England on their soil.

Captaincy of Mithali Raj helped India to defeat Australia in bilateral series in 2016. In 2017, she guided victory against West Indies. India also grabbed quadrangular series in South Africa under her ‘rule’.

To sum up quickly, no matter India has number of players such as Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Jhulan Goswami and more but is there anybody who can take place of the legendary Mithali Raj?

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I think Smriti Mandhana has potential to become Mithali Raj 2.0 .

In 2013 Smriti became the first Indian woman cricketer to score a double century in ODIs.

She has very good batting avg in Tests, ODIs and T20Is

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The “Timing Queen” was first noticed in April 2018 after she made 181 runs against England and made into the Top five of ICC’s Women’s ODI Rankings… There has been no looking back after that as the opener is currently the top ranked ODI player as per latest ICC Rankings.

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I doubt there is going to be anyone who can achieve this feat of Mithali Raj. In terms of career span, Jhulan Goswami who played 178 ODIs is the closest to come near Mithali’s record of 204 ODIs.

Now-a-days injuries is another concern for players where recently Smriti Mandhana was ruled out of ODI series against South Africa. The same is observed in men’s cricket, for that matter any sport these days whether it is tennis, badminton, athletics or hockey. The hectic back-to-back schedules and the tendency to make the most of their prime time, players want to grab every opportunity that comes across (be it IPL / Regional leagues or Australian / Canada / European leagues apart from playing for national teams). I think this approach is more prone to injuries due to over exertion and is likely to take it’s toll on the longevity of their career.

Also, with the talent pool increasing in women’s cricket, and with players as young as 15 years (Shefali Verma) getting selected, it will be challenging for any player to secure their position for 20 long years!

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Mathli Raj is the Pride of Indian Women’s cricket. She holds the record for most half-centuries in WODIs and was the is the first player to score seven consecutive 50s in ODIs. To have captained 2 World cup final but not lift the coveted trophy once is heartbreaking. But all together, she’s been an inspiration to many young girls who wish to become cricketers in future.

Not most men’s cricketers survive for over two decades in the industry and I just hope i don’t see a Mithali 2.0 but rather see the only ‘Mithali Raj’ lift the 2021 ODI World Cup.

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I know the thread is about Mithali but the title got me.

No one ever finds Anything 2.0. Muhammad Ali 2.0, Mike Tyson 2.0, Tiger Woods 2.0, Steffi Graf 2.0, Federer 2.0, Sachin 2.0, Kapil 2.0, Yuvi 2.0, Sehwag 2.0 are just dreams of fans of the sportsman who just don’t want to let go. (How desperately I wish to see Chika, Dada, Yuvi, Viru back on the field! :cry:)

Always Sachin follows Sunny and not Sunny 2.0, Djoker follows Federer and not Federer 2.0, Serena follows Steffi and not Stefii 2.0 etc. Someone comes along with prolific performance, different style (More or Less), different personality. And the show goes on.

We now have Harman Preet, Smriti and the lot to take over the mantle. They may or may not surpass Mithali’s record, But they will also follow Mithali one day passing over the mantle. We will have new stars, new style!

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Some incredible records of Mithali Raj

  • She has scored 114 on her ODI debut which is the highest score by an Indian on debut and second highest by any player in this format at that time.

  • Mithali is still the youngest to score a hundred in women’s ODIs (She scored at 16 years, 205 days).

  • Does anybody know that the legendary star has batted at every position from number 1 to 9 in women’s ODIs.

  • The former captain is all time leading run scorer in all formats of cricket for India.

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