India cricket team’s captain Mithali Raj added another feather to her illustrious cap as she completed 20,000 international runs in women’s cricket with her knock of 63 against Australia in the first One-Day International (ODI) at Harrup Park in Mackay on Tuesday.

Mithali and Yastika Bhatia (35) formed a crucial 77-run partnership for the third wicket to help the visitors post 225/8 on the board in their allotted 50 overs. While Bhatia was removed by Darcie Brown, Sophie Molineux sent Mithali back to the pavilion.

However, the total put by Women in Blue wasn’t enough for the Aussies as Rachael Haynes’ unbeaten 93 and Alyssa Healys sensational 77 steered the hosts to victory in just 41 overs with nine wickets to spare. Skipper Meg Lanning also remained unbeaten on 53 off 69 balls.

Reacting to Mithali’s record knock, Bollywood actress Taapsee Pannu, who is all set to play the Indian skipper’s role in her biopic ‘Shabaash Mithu’, took to Twitter to congratulate her.

Need partnerships rather than thinking about fearless cricket: Mithali

After the match, Mithali expressed her disappointment on the batting unit, especially the top-order. She stated that at present, Team India need few partnerships instead of paying attention to adapt the fearless cricket approach.

“We need to have now partnerships rather than thinking about fearless cricket. The girls need to get down to developing some partnerships in the middle, and that will definitely give them confidence at some point to play fearlessly,” said Mithali as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

Mithali also spoke about her innings, where she took as many as 107 deliveries to score 63 runs at a poor strike rate of less than 60. Mithali said irrespective of her consistency to score runs, she needs to find some ways to improve further.

“It is always in my mind to improve on that [strike rate] aspect. I wouldn’t say I definitely don’t think about it, but it’s not something that crosses my mind when I walk in to bat. I’ve always felt no matter how many runs I score, there’s always some room for improvement. I want to evolve as a player, too. I know I’ve been scoring runs, but it isn’t enough for the team to win, so there’s always room for improvement,” added Mithali.

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