Former chairperson of the BCCI women's selection panel Shanta Rangaswamy has lauded the record breaking opening partnership of India women openers Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut, saying it is a great achievement for Indian cricket and couldn't have come at a better time.
Deepti and Poonam shared a 320-run opening stand, which took India to 358 for 2 in the first innings and it was 249 runs too much for a second-string Ireland side on n Monday in the ongoing Quadrangular Series at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
During the course of the record-breaking partnership, 19-year-old Deepti etched her name in the record books as she recorded the highest individual score for India in women's ODIs. She clobbered a record 27 fours during her 160-ball 188 , which is the second-highest individual score in the 50-over format, only bettered by Belinda Clark's unbeaten 229 for Australia.
Deepti, who missed out on a double-century by just 12 runs, is also now the youngest (19 years and 264 days) to score 175-plus runs in an ODI innings, for both men and women.
"It's a great achievement for Indian women's cricket. It couldn't have come at a better time," Rangaswamy told ESPNcricinfo.
While praising Deepti, the former BCCI selector said that the 19-year-old has the capability to become one of the best all-rounders in world cricket in the years to come.
"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 all-rounders in world cricket in the years to come," she said.
Deepti's opening partner Poonam scored 109 off 116 deliveries before being retired out.
Underlined Poonam's credentials for the longer formats of the game, Rangaswamy said that she is a big asset to the Indian team for ODIs and Test cricket.
"Poonam 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, Poonam's presence there will definitely benefit the team's batting," she said.
The Indian eves are currently on a 16-match winning streak, and are one win away from equalling Australia's record of 17 consecutive ODI wins.
The Quadrangular Series is being played between India, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Ireland women's team. India have so far won all three of their matches in the series.
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