Raj was dismissed off the next ball, which means she will have to wait a little longer to reach another major milestone – she is now 26 runs away from becoming the first batter to 7000 runs in women’s ODIs. England’s Charlotte Edwards, who ended her career with 5992 ODI runs, is a distant second on that list.
Edwards, incidentally, is the only other woman to have scored 10,000 international runs. She made 10,273 runs overall, in a career that stretched from 1996 to 2016.
Raj has enjoyed an even longer career. She made her India debut back in June 1999, in an ODI in Lucknow against England, and has so far played 10 Tests, 212 ODIs and 89 T20Is. She now has 663 Test runs at an average of 51.00, 6974 ODI runs at 50.53, and 2364 T20I runs at 37.52.
“When you play for so long, you obviously go through different milestones. And this is just one of them,” Raj said after the match. “I think the key for me has always been consistency. I’ve always believed in scoring runs each time I walk out to bat – whether it’s in domestic or internationals, it never mattered.
“As long as I get an opportunity to bat, it has to be counted, and that has given me a lot of experience and exposure to work on my game over the years, with the changing standards of women’s cricket and to stay relevant on the international circuit.”
Speaking to the media ahead of the third ODI, India opener Smriti Mandhana had reflected on the significance of Raj reaching the milestone.
“Getting to 10,000 runs first or second is a huge thing,” Mandhana said. “She is the first Indian to do that, so I think it is something that shows how consistent she has been throughout her career. We have looked up to her, definitely a very proud feeling for all of us in the team.”
Heartiest congratulations Mithali on completing runs in International Cricket.
Keep going strong! pic.twitter.com/1D2ybiVaUt
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) March 12, 2021