SK Exclusive: Jhulan Goswami eyeing 2021 World Cup already
She is one of the greatest daughters of India. She proved herself in almost all the big occasions and the 2017 Women's World Cup final was no different. Jhulan Goswami picked up three crucial wickets in the final against England yet failed to win the much coveted World Cup. It remained a distant dream for her.
Goswami has been a picture of consistency for India for over a decade, and the 34-year-old Bengal pacer has made up for her drop in pace with accuracy and subtle variations. She got all that together to dismiss the set Sarah Taylor (45) and Natalie Sciver (51) as well as Fran Wilson. She finished the World Cup with 10 scalps.
She spoke exclusively to SportsKeeda on India’s journey in the World Cup.
Q: So near yet so far? How painful is it to lose in a World Cup final by just 9 runs?
Goswami: It is really painful. A tournament like World Cup for which we have prepared for four years and then losing so closely indeed hurts. We dominated the large portions of the match yet never could finish it off. I can’t describe it in words.
Q: Your stats in the final were really impressive. You took three wickets in 10 overs and gave away only 23 runs. How do you assess your personal performance?
Goswami: Cricket is a team sport and individual performances do not matter if the team doesn’t win. If the team fails to get the victory then my own contribution does not matter at all. It is not satisfactory, I tried my best but somehow we could do it as a team.
Q: What is the difference between the two World cup final defeats in 2005 and 2017? Most likely this was your last World Cup.
Goswami: 2005 was my first World Cup. The pressure was different. I was just enjoying my game then since it was my first World Cup. A huge excitement was there and in this World Cup, I had to deal with more pressure, more expectation. Even technical differences were there but in both the cases, the pain was same.
The regrets will be there. I wanted to be the champion this time. One more thing, if people are saying that this was my last World Cup then it is their take and not mine. Let’s not discuss this. I haven’t said this to anyone, the media is speculating. In fact, I am eyeing 2021 World Cup.
Q: What went wrong in the final?
Goswami: The biggest achievement for us in the tournament was the self-belief. We lost two matches in between and we made a comeback. Earlier, the Indian team used to fail in such situations but we have changed it around this time. The mental toughness was there.
As far as I think, we could not control our nerves or hold on to the pressure in 20 minutes of the game and that snatched the game away from us. As I said, we dominated mostly but unfortunately, it was not our day.
Q: Women’s cricket has grabbed eyes of many after this performance. Do you think this will help women’s cricket in India?
Goswami: I believe so. The matches were shown on the television which was not there earlier. Even media came forward to make this all possible. The matches were discussed and covered by the print media, electronic media, sports websites and social media.
This helped the game to promote. This is perhaps the best thing that has happened to women’s cricket lately. Hopefully, there will be more development at the grassroots level. I believe if there is a cricket match being aired on television in our country people will watch.
ICC played an important role to promote women’s cricket globally. The brand of cricket we played has entertained people.
Q: Mithali Raj and you were there in 2005 World Cup squad from the current team. A new lot of players have come in the Indian team. Do you think the future is in secure hands?
Goswami: We can’t just say that definitively but of course there are few exciting cricketers at the moment like Harmanpreet (Kaur), Smriti (Mandhana), Veda (Krishnamurthy) and Deepti (Sharma) amongst other. All these cricketers are immensely talented.
Harmanpreet has already proved herself on the international stage. The BCCI has also played a big role in keeping the squad intact for the last few seasons.
Everyone played at least 15-20 matches before the World Cup which was a big bonus. The experience they have gathered from this tournament will certainly take them forward in future.
Also read: How would you remember Mithali Raj?
Q: You captained India before. Now, how do you see Mithali Raj as captain?
Goswami: See, I believe that a captain is as good as the team. If the team is good then it becomes easier for the captain. The plus point for Mithali is that she is very cool headed and can control the emotions very professionally. She hardly shows any emotions.
At crucial points, she takes fantastic decisions which speak for her. Above all, her records in international cricket are outstanding.
Q: Do you think BCCI should start women’s IPL too?
Goswami: In one word, Yes. I really want this to happen.
Q: What are your future plans?
Goswami: I am yet to plan anything in particular. I am enjoying the moment. I will continue to play as long as I enjoy playing it. My sole focus would be to keep on playing for the country as long as I can.