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Battling odds, Jhulan eyes Cup

The Indian women's cricket team will use the disappointment of successive away series losses and the knowledge of conditions in Australia to spur their campaign in the World Cup to be held in New South Wales, says Jhulan Goswami.

cricket Updated: Feb 15, 2009 23:41 IST
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya

The Indian women's cricket team will use the disappointment of successive away series losses and the knowledge of conditions in Australia to spur their campaign in the World Cup to be held in New South Wales from March 7-22, captain Jhulan Goswami says.

"We felt bad. After all, we are representing our country," Goswami said when asked about the winless tours to England (0-4 in the one-dayers) and Australia (where India lost all five one-dayers and the lone T20 tie).

"To be honest, we did not play good cricket and kept repeating our mistakes," she added.

Goswami had replaced Mithali Raj as captain after the England series but the team's fortune did not change.

"On the plus side, we now know about the wickets and conditions in Sydney, where we will play our World Cup matches," Goswami said.

Goswami also believes her team has been able to work out its problems in the three months after the Australia tour. Two main areas of concern were a brittle top order and lack of bite in the attack. To rectify that, India have brought in three new faces - Poonam Raut, Harman Preet Kaur and Sravanthi Naidu.

"Poonam is an opener who did well in the inter-state one-dayers, in December. Harman Preet is a young all-rounder who has done well in domestic cricket. Sravanthi bowls left-arm orthodox and came up with big performances against big teams in the national meet," said Goswami.

India were the losing finalists in the previous edition of the World Cup in South Africa in 2005.

Goswami said the team's preparations have been good. "Last month, we had a camp at NCA (the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore), where we ironed out the problems. We will have another camp in Mumbai from February 19 to 28 before leaving for Australia on March 1."

However, one hitch has been the insistence of the BCCI to stick to old rules in domestic one-dayers with no batting Powerplays in place. Indian bowlers had a lot of problems adjusting to the rule in Australia when it was first implemented.

"I don't know why the rule was not introduced in the national one-dayers this year. That is for the BCCI technical committee to say," said Goswami. "We simulated batting Powerplays in the practice matches at NCA."

It also seems strange to have the national meet for two-day matches just before the World Cup as has been the case in India. "Well, it is a problem, but I guess the BCCI could not fit the championship anywhere else," said Goswami.