India v Ireland, Quadrangular women's series, Potchefstroom May 15, 2017

Rangaswamy lauds Deepti, Raut after record-breaking stand

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Deepti Sharma's 188 is the second-highest score in women's ODIs © Getty Images

Records tumbled in Potchefstroom as India women openers Deepti Sharma and Punam Raut smashed centuries to forge the highest partnership in women's ODIs. Their 320-run opening stand took India to 358 for 2 in the first innings and it was 249 runs too much for a second-string Ireland side, which has now let two different oppositions - South Africa and India - notch up their highest team totals in consecutive games.

In what was the first 300-run stand by any pair in women's ODIs, Deepti, all of 19, clobbered a record 27 fours during her 160-ball 188 - the second-highest individual score in the 50-over format, only bettered by Belinda Clark's unbeaten 229 for Australia.

Speaking about the records achieved by the India women's team, former chairperson of the BCCI women's selection panel Shanta Rangaswamy told ESPNcricinfo: "It's a great achievement for Indian women's cricket. It couldn't have come at a better time. Deepti is young and has a fabulous temperament. Her batting stands apart from most others and I think she has the capability to become one of the best allrounders in world cricket in the years to come."

In the absence of regular opener Smriti Mandhana, who has been recalled to the squad for the Women's World Cup after a four-month layoff, Deepti has carried the mantle of propping up a top order that has traditionally been reliant on Mithali Raj. Deepti's recent run of form came particularly good for India in the Women's World Cup qualifiers in Sri Lanka, where she finished as the tournament's leading run-getter. She scored 253 runs with three fifties in six innings, including a match-winning 71 against South Africa in the final, which helped India complete their highest successful chase in ODIs.

Deepti's opening partner also etched her name in the record books with the feat of being involved in India's highest partnership across all three formats. Rangaswamy underlined Raut's credentials for the longer formats of the game.

"For one-day cricket and Test cricket, Punam is a big asset to the Indian team," Rangaswamy said. "I cannot forget the big centuries she and [MD] Thirush Kamini got in Mysore against South Africa.

"Punam has always been in my scheme of things. Her knock against Australia steered India to victory last year in an ODI. It was crucial in the context of the game. In England, where the ball will swing and bounce more, Punam's presence there will definitely benefit the team's batting."

Having earned a call-up for the quadrangular series on merit of her domestic form, Raut has now forced her way into the squad for the World Cup on the back of unbeaten knocks in two of the three matches so far.

Raut's reputation for being a livewire on the field is likely to have further strengthened her case. In the three matches so far in the quadrangular series, she has played a part in at least one run-out in every game, dismissing set batsmen - South Africa's Mignon du Preez and Ireland's Jennifer Gray, twice - in each instance.

"These girls are excellent fielders," Rangaswamy said. "Deepti excels in close-in fielding; Punam is a very good fielder in the deep. She throws brilliantly and puts in good dives."

India are currently on a 16-match winning streak, and are one win away from equalling Australia's record of 17 consecutive ODI wins. They lead the four-nation tournament with 19 points, followed by South Africa on 15.

Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kakdev5159510 on May 17, 2017, 4:43 GMT

    Congrats to deepti nd pooonam for their achievements

  • dashni6306677 on May 16, 2017, 5:31 GMT

    Many Congrats; well done.

  • Agney on May 16, 2017, 3:43 GMT

    Can't we have Ms.Sharma in place of Shikhar Dhawan for the CT???

  • jan3325052621 on May 16, 2017, 3:21 GMT

    Thats awsome. Better than mens opening XI in long long time

  • Kausthub on May 16, 2017, 1:55 GMT

    Congrats to Deepthi Sharma and Poonam Raut for this achievement. Well I need not say and even the players know that winning the World Cup is more important than these achievements, as India women are yet to win a WC or World T20.

  • Ashok on May 15, 2017, 18:57 GMT

    A new world record by the Indian Women's Team openers- What a feat! This must the record which beats even the Men's team ODI record. Indian women should be proud of this achievement in light of no support from BCCI till last year. For the first time BCCI finally awarded a few Women cricketers, small token salaried contracts. The gender gap is still too large but it is heartening to note that at long last Women's talent is being acknowledged. In Raj, Goswami & Kaur Indian Women already have the 3 of the finest world reputed Cricketers. Mandhana, Diptee Sharma, Poonam & Raut will make India even stronger. India will show up as strong challengers to England & Australia for the World title this year. Lets Go India!

  • juhisi9632589 on May 15, 2017, 18:55 GMT

    Still better than Shikhar Dhawan..

  • Sriram on May 15, 2017, 18:21 GMT

    Well done. Hope this will be the tipping point for Indian women. They still are far away from competing as equals against Aus, Eng, Windies but on thier day can excel. What we need is a collective effort to topple these top 3 teams. Good luck Mithali and co.

  • Nathan on May 15, 2017, 17:48 GMT

    WOW!!! Congrats to Deepti and Raut for the record opening partnership in Womens ODI.

    It is heartening to hear the comments from Shanta Rangaswamy, who led the Indian womens team ably during her playing days. I can recall her exploits with the bad, when Indian Women team were making a mark with established teams like AUS, and ENG

  • Surya on May 15, 2017, 17:43 GMT

    Wonderful job done by the openers. Congrats

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