New Delhi: The captain of the Indian women's ODI team, Mithali Raj, on Tuesday announced retirement from T20 internationals, saying that she needed time to focus on the 2021 ODI World Cup, slated to be held in New Zealand.
Mithali led India in 32 T20Is, including three Women's WT20 World Cups in 2012 (Sri Lanka), 2014 (Bangladesh) and 2016 (India). She featured in 89 T20Is in which she amassed 2,364 runs at 37.52.
With the senior batswoman calling it a day from the shortest format of the game, let's take a look at Mithali's top five knocks in T20I cricket.
*Mithali's top score of 97 not out came against Malaysia in the Women's T20 Asia Cup at Kuala Lumpur on June 3, 2018. Opening the batting, Mithali faced 69 balls and clobbered the Malaysian bowlers all around the park, hitting 13 fours and one six. Her knock helped India pile up 169/3 after which Malaysia were bundled out for a paltry 27 runs.
*The opener once again played a significant role in handing her side an impressive 9-wicket win against South Africa in East London on February 16, 2018. After South Africa set a challenging 143-run target for India, Mithali once again starred with the bat as her unbeaten 76 (61 balls, 4x8) was enough to hand India a comfortable win.
*Mithali's third highest score in T20I came at the Twenty20 Asia Cup in Bangkok on December 4, 2016. Once again, her knock helped India beat arch-rivals Pakistan by 17 runs. Opting to bat first, it was Mithali's unbeaten 73 off 65 deliveries which helped India set a 122-run target before the Green Brigade even as most of the Indian batswomen failed to click. Mithali's knock contained seven boundaries and a six. Despite the low total, Indian bowlers rose to the occasion to restrict the opponents at 104, thus paving way for a 17-run victory.
*Mithali's fourth highest knock of 67 came against Sri Lanka at Vizianagaram on January 25, 2014, though India had lost that match. Put into bat, Mithali again showed her skills by slamming a 47-ball 67 (4x9, 6x2) to take her side to a competitive 147/3 in the allotted overs. However, the visitors overhauled the target in 19.5 overs with three wickets remaining.
*Mithali's fifth highest score in T20I cricket also came in 2014 when she hit an unbeaten 55 to help India overahaul the 122-run target set by the West Indies at Sylhet (Bangladesh) by 9 wickets. Her innings was laced with six boundaries.