India saw a change in the world of cricket after its women’s team started making headlines for their outstanding performance on international grounds. The achievements spilled over to fame for India’s women cricket team captain Mithali Raj. She was all over the news after India performed brilliantly at the ICC women world cup last year. She had led the team and had displayed flashing cricket. But now it seems here performance has gone down. In the three ODIs against South Africa in February, the skipper failed to leave a mark and as a result, Mithali Raj has slipped to the third position in ICC Women’s batting ranking.
Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry, who's the number one all-rounder as per the ICC rankings, also became the No.2 batsmen in Women’s ODIs. She overtook Mithali who is now at No.3. The right-handed batswoman listed scores of 45, 20 and 4 against South Africa as India went on to win the series 2-1. The 37-year old has found some form back in the T20Is, scoring 54* and 76* to take her side to victories in the first two T20Is.
Apart from Raj, India’s T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur also faced similar circumstances. She dropped down on the list, going from fifth to the seventh place. Talking about the highest gainer, Smriti Mandhana, who scored a century against South Africa in the 2nd ODI, moved up 14 places to reach the 21st position in the table.
In 1999, Raj made her debut in cricket at the age of 16, and scored her first century against Ireland, becoming the youngest woman to score a century in ODIs. Often compared to cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, she is also the first woman to score 6,000 runs in one-day international cricket. Raj was awarded the Arjuna award as well as the Padma Shri (fourth-highest civilian award) in 2015 for her contribution to cricket. Raj became the only batter to go past the 1000-run mark in World Cup games and is currently the leading run-scorer in ODIs in the world.