Jhulan Goswami's final few stretches could well be her moment in the sun

Jhulan Goswami will be need to step up and deliver for India in the rest of the 2022 World Cup
Jhulan Goswami will be need to step up and deliver for India in the rest of the 2022 World Cup
Boria Majumdar

It has always come down to that one crucial game for India in the 50-over World Cups. In 2017 it was against New Zealand, a virtual quarterfinal. The Indian girls stepped up when it mattered.

A Mithali Raj century and a Veda Krishnamurthy classic ensured India were in the semi-finals after battling through some hiccups on the way. The script seems to be unfolding in a very similar manner in 2022. India will now have to win against Bangladesh and South Africa to stay in the reckoning of the 2022 Women's World Cup, while also keeping one eye on the net run rate.

Frankly, it isn’t impossible. Rather, I would back the Indian team to win their last two games and stage a comeback. While they have been inconsistent so far, we have seen in patches what they are capable of. While it was a complete team effort against the West Indies, against Australia it was a very good batting effort in the end.

That’s what brings me to Jhulan Goswami. India will need the country's greatest bowler ever to stand up and be counted in the last two games. In 2017, Goswami wasn’t bowling well at the start of the tournament. So much so that she urged the coach to bench her if he so wished. On the way to Derby, she sat on the front seat of the bus, discussing her future with the coach and went on to suggest that she be dropped in the interests of the team. That’s the real Goswami for you.

A perfect teammate and a true legend. Then coach Tushar Arothe convinced Goswami to keep trying and assured her that she had the fullest backing of the team. That’s all that was needed. Goswami produced a classic against Meg Lanning in the semi-final and bowled a historic spell in the final.

Jhulan Goswami will need to step up and deliver

We need an encore. Yes, she is five years older and her body has taken much pounding. But she still has the skills and we have seen it in patches in New Zealand. If India have to beat South Africa, the team in form at the moment, it has to be Goswami leading the attack with wickets up front.

Having known Jhulan for decades, I wouldn’t put it past her. I can conjecture she would be pacing up and down in her room thinking what she needs to do. I know in her mind she will soon come to terms with the task at hand. She is Jhulan Goswami after all. 200 matches and 250 wickets don’t come easy. We need her to stand up for the last two games. 20 years of achievement and 2 final games. That’s what India needs from her and as I said don’t put it past her to deliver when it matters the most. She is already a fairytale. Maybe the last chapter is waiting to be written the coming week.

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Edited by Prasen Moudgal


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