India’s ODI skipper Mithali Raj on Saturday broke the record for most matches captained in the ICC Women’s World Cup, surpassing former Australian counterpart Belinda Clark.
Mithali, 39, led the country in 24 World Cup games, claiming 14 victories, 8 losses and one no result. Clark had captained her side in 23 matches.
The India skipper achieved the feat when she stepped out to lead the country against the West Indies in a crucial match in the ongoing showpiece event in Hamilton, New Zealand.
Interestingly, Mithali and Clark are the only two cricketers to have led their country at more than two World Cups.
Last Sunday, Mithali became only the third cricketer and the first woman to appear in six World Cups, joining the iconic Sachin Tendulkar and Pakistani great Javed Miandad.
Meanwhile, Mithali Raj on Saturday hailed India’s “special effort” to comprehensively beat West Indies by 155 runs but wants more consistency in the upcoming games of the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup.
Coming into the match following a loss against hosts New Zealand, India dished out a splendid all-round performance to notch up a dominating win over West Indies and top the points table.
“Could not have asked anything better than today’s display. Today’s win should keep us in the (frame) tournament for the knockouts. Batting and bowling really came out well,” Raj said in the post-match presentation.
“It had a lot to do with the couple of games, could see the nerves in the girls. Everyone knew the importance of today’s game. Required a special effort, we knew West Indies came from 2 wins, we were playing after a big loss. We need to be consistent as the next game is in a different venue and (with) a different opponent, we will be having different plans.”
Smriti Mandhana (123) and Harmanpreet Kaur (109) slammed twin centuries to set up the win and Raj praised the duo for their sensible batting.
The India skipper said the team was in good hands with the youngsters doing well.
“It’s good to have youngsters around, me and Jhulan have played for a long time. When you have to let your guard down, need the youngsters to crack a joke — it eases out our nerves, which has helped me in the past.”