After seven years, Jhulan Goswami becomes world number 1 bowler again
Affectionately known as the ‘Chakdaha Express’ back home in Bengal, Jhulan Goswami is only one of two women’s national team cricketers still remaining from the 2005 World Cup squad, that finished second in South Africa. Now, seven years after reaching the pinnacle of the sport, the 33-year old has pipped England pacer Katherine Brunt to become the world number 1 bowler.
Registering a total of 730 points, Jhulan has close to a 100 point lead with two months of competition to go. If things stand the way they are, this will also be the first time an Indian women’s pacer ends a calendar year as world number 1.
Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda, she said, “Honestly it doesn’t matter to me that much, yes its great that I’m reaching a personal milestone, but what will make me happier is if India can be on top of the ranking. The T20 World Cup exit was a massive hit for the team, we were in good shape and considering the format, we were confident of victory as we had an explosive batting line up. We are working on several dynamics of our game right now, specifically on building partnerships, that’s something that has hurt us majorly. We have always had individually strong players, but coordination has been a problem.”
Other Indians keep their rank
Apart from Jhulan, two other Indians in newly elected T20 Captian Harmanpreet Kaur and ODI skipper Mithali Raj maintained their positions in the batting rankings. The duo registered an eighth and third placed ranking respectively. Hyderabad-based batsman Mithali still has a chance to reach the world number 1 batting ranking this year.
Jhulan added, “I think the entire team right now believes in the concept of working hard and then letting success make all the noise. We are digging deep for the tournament in Thailand next month and aiming for nothing but top spot. Our batting is getting stronger day by day, and it’s upon me to spearhead our bowling attack. We are at a good place right now and believe that 2017 will be our year.”
Aussie team still on top
Australia continued to exert their dominance over the women’s game by comfortably holding on their top spot. The biggest climbers were West Indies, who moved into second spot with 20 points. India is currently languishing in sixth spot out of eight teams, with Pakistan breathing down their necks. They will square off against West Indies in November, before heading to Thailand for the Asia Cup.
Talking about facing the world champions, Jhulan said, “We are definitely looking for revenge, that was our game and our match to win, our inexperience showed. Even my performance with the bat at the end was poor. But, this time we are more prepared and have studied their game as well. Harmanpreet captaining the side will add new ideas to the team, as both me and Mithali have been doing it for a while now. Her experience in Australia will also give the entire team a new facet to the game. In fact, certain tactics that are being applied in training, are things we have never tried before.”
The team leaves for West Indies on November 9, with Jhulan not bothering about her current ranking. She added, “As I told you before, we need to win everything this year to enter the top 5 in the world, whether I hold onto my ranking is not important at all.”