India women team’s skipper Mithali Raj has been in sensational form in the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup in England. The 30-year old recently scored a sublime century against New Zealand in a do-or-die game to lead the side to the semifinal. Prior to the century, she had already scored three half-centuries in the tournament and is the third leading run-scorer with 356 runs in seven matches that India have played so far.
Her scintillating form has seen her creating two records already. Her 71-run knock in the World Cup opener against England made her the first women cricketer to score seventh consecutive half-centuries while her 69-run knock against Australia made her the first women cricketer to cross the 6000-run mark in ODIs.
Mithali’s brilliant form has helped her to narrow the gap considerably with top-ranked ODI batswoman Meg Lanning in the latest ODI rankings for women cricket. The consistent performances have taken the 30-year old to within five points of Lanning’s 779 points. Mithali had started the tournament at the second place only but she trailed her Australian counterpart by 51 points.
Poonam Raut and Smriti Mandhana have also made significant gains in the latest rankings. Raut, who scored 86 against England and 106 against Australia, has jumped 12 positions to reach the 19th place while Mandhana, who has looked out of form after scoring 90 and 106* in the first two games, has moved up 8 places to 29th rank.
Among bowlers, Jhulan Goswami and Ekta Bisht dropped three and one places respectively and are now sixth and seventh in the rankings. Shikha Pandey and Deepti Sharma, on the other, made good progress, moving up three and nine places to 13th and 21st position respectively.