Mithali Raj's coach Murthy reveals the secret to her success

R.S.R. Murthy, coach of India cricketer Mithali Raj who touched the 10,000 run-mark on Friday, said the batswoman's hunger for runs is the same as it was 20 years ago.

India cricketer Mithali Raj with her coach R.S.R. Murthy during a training session at St. John's Coaching Foundation in Hyderabad.   -  FILE PHOTO/ V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

For R.S.R. Murthy, it is a special moment as her ward and India women’s cricket captain Mithali Raj crossed the milestone of 10,000 runs in international cricket against South Africa in Lucknow on Friday.

The famous coach-duo combination from Hyderabad is also celebrating 20 years of bonding which helped the famed cricketer produce some of her best batting displays in the international circuit.

READ| Mithali Raj becomes first Indian woman to score 10,000 international runs, second overall

“It is obviously a great feeling and a proud moment for all of us. She joined South Central Railway in 2001 and since then has been training with me (earlier it was late Sampath of RTC who was Mithali’s first coach),” Murthy informed Sportstar.

READ| Mithali Raj: I work on my game to stay relevant

“Frankly, I told her in 2017 itself that she would reach this milestone given her passion, commitment and the kind of hard work she puts in even now in training,” he said.

“The focus and the hunger for runs is the same as it was 20 years ago. I have not seen any other cricketer being so dedicated to the sport. She never misses even a single day’s training. Either she will be here or at the NCA in Bengaluru,” Murthy said.

“Well, age is no barrier and her performances are proof of that. She is in the preparatory mode for next year’s ODI World Cup (having already played in five editions besides four T20 World Cups),” he said.

“Even now Mithali is dreaming of winning the World Cup for her. That is what is driving her to stay fit  - mentally and physically. It is never easy to do that considering she made her international debut in 1999,” Murthy said.

“She is donning the sheet anchor role, not playing with the freedom she would love to,” he said.

“Apart from her game, Mithali is a humble and a very simple, easy-going character. She still stays in dormitories with other players whenever she is playing for SCR or Indian Railways. Doesn’t look for the special privileges she can afford being the Sports Officer now,” Murthy said.

“I think she is good enough to play for one more year at the highest level,” the coach signed off.

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