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Will Mithali Raj Be Lucky The Fourth Time As World Cup Captain?

Mithali Raj has been the ubiquitous face of Indian women’s cricket for near about two and half decades. She made her one-day international debut against England in Milton Keynes in 1999 and became captain against the West Indies at Lucknow in March 2004. And into her 40th year, she is the captain, although her success rate in 143 matches (as captain) is 59.44. She has led India in 21 matches in three World Cups (2005, 2013 and 2017) won 13 for a success percentage of 61.90. These numbers indicate that women’s cricket in the context of leadership has not advanced, owing to, as the discerning believe, the selectors being bereft of dynamic thinking. The present selection committee has also refused to look at Harmanpreet Kaur (playing for India since March 2009) or Smriti Mandhana (playing for India since April 2013). Indian cricket ought to have gone for Harmanpreet after her splendid unbeaten 171 against Australia in the World Cup semis of 2017.  Smriti is the fourth-highest run getter post the 2017 World Cup in England after England’s Tamsin Beaumont, Australia’s Alyssa Healy and South Africa’s Lizelle Lee. But the Mithali Raj rule continues; hopefully she will be lucky the fourth time as captain in the quadrennial event. Incidentally, Jhulan Goswami led India in the 2009 World Cup in Australia and won five matches!