The Indian women have proved that they have the talent and capability to beat top sides like Australia, England, and the most recent New Zealand. They won the fifth ODI convincingly against the World Cup hosts on Thursday, however, there is scope for improvement overall, especially in the fast bowling and fielding department.
Jhulan Goswami has been the leader of the fast bowler’s pack for a long time. The 39-year-old veteran gives her absolute best every time she steps onto the field, but lately has struggled to find support from her other pace bowling counterparts.
In an interview with Annesha Ghosh for ESPN Cricinfo’s Cricket Monthly, Jhulan shared her opinion on the possible reasons why India has been unsuccessful in finding a good pace-bowling all-rounder.
Jhulan said,” If you talk about the current pool of Indian all-rounders, Pooja Vastrakar has been batting well. Shikha [Pandey] has also contributed in patches, but it eventually boils down to two things.
“The domestic cricket culture needs to change slightly. Things have improved with the BCCI’s help, but we could do more.”
The women’s game has witnessed a paradigm shift with regards to fitness and power-hitting. Jhulan doesn’t agree entirely that power-hitting has neutralized the threat of quick bowlers as good quick bowlers or medium pacers are an asset to the team and are still rewarded.
She said, “Look at, say, (Marizanne) Kapp, (Shabnim) Ismail, (Katherine) Brunt- they are massive assets to their teams, and every opponent thinks highly of them and prepares to face the challenge they pose.”
With the game continuously evolving according to Jhulan the medium-pacers need to prepare better as variations are the key.
She added, “But I will admit that you are right that the evolution of power in women’s batting has certainly pushed medium-pacers to think smarter, bowl smarter. Variations are the key.”
Indian Women will kick off their ICC Women’s World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on March 6th.
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