Mithali Raj and Women’s  Cricket

mithaliraj

Women’s cricket

In December, 2011, the 10 year old Tanya watched the cricket ODI with a historical performance by Virender Sehwag, and she was thrilled.  After that, she started to pay a little more attention to the cricket news. She discovered that women also played cricket in national and international ODI matches.  It bothered her that her mother Bhagi had never talked to her about women’s cricket. One day she said, “Mom. you pretend to worship Rani Ki Jhansi, the ultimate feminist, and yet you do not even talk about and show us any women’s ODIs.  They are also available on the TV and can easily be recorded.”  Bhagi just ignored the conversation.  However, Tanya knows how to get what she wants. One day she asked her mom who her favourite woman cricketer is.  The mother says, ” My favourite woman cricketer is Mithali Raj.  Mithali started playing cricket at the age of 10, and only at the age of 17 she was picked for the Indian team. I have been a fan of hers ever since my college days.”  This way Tanya twisted her mother’s arm to record the next big match in which Mithali would play.   Tanya got her way and here it goes.

Mithali Raj – a top women’s player

Mom: Okay Tanya, there is a women’s ODI series between India and England.  Mithali is supposed to play in it.  I will record it for you.  You can watch it but I have one condition.

Tanya: What is the condition mom?

Mom:  I will tell you the condition when the time comes.

On July 1, 2012, Tanya’s mother recorded the first ODI of the match between women’s teams of India and England.  Tanya told Kate, Peter and Tinku. Kate wanted to watch.  Tinku and Peter were not too excited because it was only women’s cricket.  After Tanya’s scolding, Tinku agreed to come.  Manal (another friend from school) asked if she could also come.  Tanya liked Manal and invited her to come over.

Keeping the score

Tanya’s mom started the TV.  All four watched the game with interest.  England’s team batted first.  Tinku kept a record of everyone’s score and added the runs a batter scored as singles, doubles and fours.  There were not many sixes.  Manal wanted to keep track of the team scores.  A woman named Arran Thomson had the highest score. The team score was 229 with all out in 49.2 overs.  They knew that 49.2 overs meant 49 full overs plus 2 balls which was a total of 296 (6 x 49 + 2) balls.  They determined that the team run rate is 6 x 229/49.2 which comes to 4.65.  Tanya was sitting quietly still trying to figure out what her  mother would want her to do.

Tanya’s mom: Tinku, I understand that you were figuring out the score of each player.  Continue with it.  I want to see the total number of runs scored by each batter on the Indian team, especially Mithali Raj.  All of you should watch how Mithali bats – not just her score but also the way she bats. I will fast forward the recording to the start of the Indian team batting.

Tinku kept a record of everyone’s score and added the runs a player scored.

Manal: England’s team scored 229.  India will win if they score more than 229 which is 230 or more.  I will keep track of their total score.

They watched the match with interest. The first pair to bat was Mona Meshrum and Punam Raut.  Mona Meshram did not last long and was out after 9 runs.  Mithali Raj replaced Meshram. Raj and Raut kept playing until Raut was out.  She was out but only after scoring a solid 60 runs. Harmanpreet Kaur took Raut’s place and Raj continued batting. Kaur also gave a great performance scoring 50 runs before being out. V. Krishnamurthy took Kaur’s place but she is out after scoring only 8 runs.  With Raj still battingm, S. Naik replaced Krishnamurthy but was out immediately with 0 runs. Then Goswami came in.  She did not score any runs nor was she out because now there were 11 runs from extras, and the Indian team total reached a total of 230 because Mithali Raj scored 94 (not out).  So the match ended with India at 230 for 5 wickets in 49.3 overs.

Tinku was going to say something about the run rates but Tanya’s mom came in and said: Did you watch the grace with which Mithali played and won the game for India?  She was named the player of the match.

Bar diagram

Tanya: Mom, you said that I had to do something if I watched the game.  What is it?

Tanya’s mom: Here, I brought you this graph paper.  It has horizontal and vertical lines.  There are different types of graph papers.  This one has thick lines and thin lines.  On the vertical side you should take every thick line to come after 10 runs.  Then the gap between any two thin  lines will mean 2 runs because there are 5 thin lines between two thick lines. At the bottom, you can write the name of  an Indian batter and then draw a bar above it with the same height as the score of the player. This  will show how each player did.  Give it a title and put a label on the left side of the graph.  It will be easier if you write the number of runs after each thick line.  Do a good job and then show it to me.  In the mean time, I will get some refreshments ready for you.

bargraphrunsscoredbyeachplayer

All four of them figured out the graph paper together (see bar graph for Runs Scored by Each Player).  They decided that Tanya should write everything on the paper because her mother had given her this task.  The names of the players were put in the order they came to bat. After Tanya had written everything, the performance of Mathali Raj looked the best but Manal had a suggestion. She indicated that the picture had to reflect that Raj was not out.  May be she would have scored even a century but she did not because she had already beaten the England team.  So they put a star and a note of not out on the graph.

Tanya’s mom came with the refreshments and asked: What was the average score?

Tanya: 37.  Remember the total score is 230 but with 8 extras.  So the total score for which all the 6 batters get the credit is 222.  So I divided 222 by 6.  It comes out to 37.

Tanya’s mom:  Good job with the graph.  This type of graph is called a bar graph. Now you kids have earned the refreshments.  Also Tanya, please show this picture to grandma.

Tanya showed this picture to grandma who said: Your picture says that Raj is the best.

Tanya still keeps track of Mithali’s performance. In July, 2017 she told Bhagi that Mithali had become the first batter to score a 6000 life time run total in women’s ODI, and that she reached this milestone in style with a sixer.

Challenge

Take the score card of a recent women’s ODI. Record the runs scored by each batter for one of the teams and draw a bar diagram.

Solution depends on the game you choose.  Therefore, none is given.