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Can Mithali Raj Surpass Sandhya Agarwal’s Test Aggregate?

Mithali Raj has been a champion batter in ODI cricket and the face of Indian women’s cricket for over two decades. Well into her 39th year, the diminutive right-hander has been in ODI cricket for 21-plus years, having made her debut on June 26, 1999 and making it memorable with an unbeaten 114 against Ireland at Milton Keynes. Currently she is at top of the heap with a world record 7,098 runs in 214 matches. While the doughty batter’s ODI record will be difficult to go down, Mithali, who has played 10 Tests from 2002 to 2014 and scored 663 runs at 51, would find it tough to surpass Sandhya Agarwal’s high aggregate of 1,110 runs in 13 Tests at 50.45, which is an Indian women’s record. India is scheduled to play a one-off Test against England in the harbour town of Bristol from June 16 and it would be beyond Mithali’s capacity to cover the 447 run gap. With a majority of the ICC full members focussed on white-ball cricket to popularise the game, the multi-day Test cricket is seldom featured except for the one-off Ashes Test between the women teams of England and Australia. The Indian women have played 36 Tests, won five, lost 6 and drew 25. Three of the five wins came in the last three — two against England at Taunton in 2006 and at Wormsley in 2014, and against South Africa at Mysore, also in 2014. Mithali carved out a 214 at Taunton in her first Test appearance in England and has scored 402 runs in four Test matches there. She is 38 runs short of Shubhangi Kulkarni’s 700. “Sandhya was a solid batter whereas Mithali is a solid and stylish batter,” said Shubhangi.