It was really important to come back and deliver for the team: Jhulan Goswami
Jhulan Goswami © Getty Images
Jhulan Goswami got the opportunity to turn the tables against the mighty Australians as she led India to a thrilling two-wicket win over the hosts at Mackay on Sunday (September 26). Goswami, who won the Player of the Match award for her allround performance, stressed the importance of this comeback victory for India in the scheme of the multi-format series after the final over drama in the second ODI.
“The day before yesterday we lost the match and it was really hard," said Goswami in the post-match press conference. "We pulled out the match till the last ball, and a lot of drama happened in the last over. So for me, it was really important as the senior member of the side to come back and deliver for the team. Every match is important and we have come here to play some good cricket. I just tried to hold my nerve (in the final over) and give my best for the team.”
Goswami’s role with the ball was instrumental in keeping the Australian batting under control as she removed Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning in the space of four deliveries to reduce Australia to 41 for two inside the powerplay. She also troubled Lanning with the new ball during the second ODI, as Meghna Singh took the wicket at the other end. Goswami shed some light on the double-wicket maiden that rocked Australia early.
“Meg Lanning is one of the best batters, and if you are not able to take her out early, then she can take out the game from your hand. It was important for me to give us the early breakthrough and try to hit the ball in the right area. I was enjoying my rhythm and I was bowling in the right areas from the beginning today.”
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With this victory, India broke Australia’s winning streak of 26 matches in the ODI format, but Goswami believes it was more important for her team to win this match ahead of the day-night Test, which is the ‘unknown territory’ for India.
“Honestly, I was not aware of the winning streak when I was batting. It is important that we beat them. If we were not able to do that today, then the series would have gone 3-0. Now we have won the ODI match before playing the pink-ball Test. We need to be more confident going into the Test match and play some good cricket.”
The century partnership between Shafali Verma and Yastika Bhatia, along with some late hitting by Deepti Sharma and Sneh Rana led India to their highest ever chase in the ODIs. Goswami described how the conversation in the dressing room after the first innings was about the need to bat till the 50th over to themselves a chance.
“When we came back from the first innings, we knew the wicket was flat. If we could play for 50 overs, we can chase this target. That was our simple plan and we tried to stick to it. I knew if I could play till the last ball, we would score those winning runs. I was saying the same to Meghna that we need to bat till the last ball. I was confident that if the ball comes in my zone I will go for the shot”
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When Goswami came to the crease, India needed 24 runs from the last 23 balls with only three wickets in the hand. Rana smoked Tahlia McGrath for three consecutive boundaries to release the pressure, but once she got out Goswami was left with inexperienced Singh. She clobbered Sophie Molineux straight down the ground to seal the famous victory for India in the final over. The Indian veteran had also impressed with the bat during the first two ODIs to help India put a competitive total against Australia. Speaking about her batting Goswami said, she is just doing the role assigned to her by the team management.
“I know it’s important if a tailender batter can chip in with 15-20 runs in every single match. That makes a huge difference. Captain and coach told me that I have a role in the batting line-up. I have spent a lot of time in the net session, and whenever I get the opportunity I try and make the most of it.”
Looking forward, Goswami has her eyes set on the World Cup in New Zealand, where she will lead the Indian bowling attack. This time she will get some help from the pace bowlers like Singh and Vastrakar.
“When you are preparing for the big tournament like the World Cup, we need to spend some time in the middle. We are spending a lot of time with everyone who is getting the opportunity to make sure that the player gets a lot of confidence. We have talent, it’s just a matter of handling the pressure. Meghna and Pooja bowled really well and they are vital in the preparation of the World Cup”, she concluded.