Harmanpreet on Jhulan: Nobody can fill the void she will leave | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Harmanpreet on Jhulan: Nobody can fill the void she will leave

Aug 30, 2022 11:51 PM IST

Harmanpreet Kaur paid tribute to Jhulan Goswami ahead of the veteran bowler's farewell ODI series.

As India fast bowling veteran Jhulan Goswami heads to her farewell ODI series against hosts England after playing for India for two decades, captain Harmanpreet Kaur went down memory lane and remembered when she made her international debut under the pacer's captaincy against Pakistan 13 years ago.

Jhulan Goswami in action for Team India.(ANI)
Jhulan Goswami in action for Team India.(ANI)

“I feel very fortunate that I made my India debut with Jhulu didi as captain back in 2009. And now she will be playing her last series when I am the captain. She was the one I looked up to and used to observe from close quarters how she prepared ahead of a contest. She is very hard-working and her passion is just unmatchable. Nobody can fill the void she will leave. Even today, she continues to put in the same effort. You don’t see many bowlers do that today,” said captain Kaur, ahead of the T20 and ODI series against England starting from September 10.

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The 39-year-old fast bowler Goswami, who made her ODI debut for India in 2002 will bring down the curtains on her illustrious career when India women take on England in the last ODI tie of the three-match series to be played at the Lords Cricket Ground against England on September 24.

“Her contribution is enormous. Girls took up the sport seeing her play for India. The team will make sure she has a special farewell game and she leaves the cricket field with good memories. She provides balance and adds a lot of support to the team. Her farewell series will be very special for us.,” Kaur added.

Goswami has played 12 Tests, 201 ODIs and 68 T20Is, taking a combined 352 wickets so far. Due to a side strain, she missed India’s final ODI World Cup group game (vs South Africa) and then didn’t make the cut for the Sri Lanka tour as well. However, the 39-year-old made her return after a clearance from the National Cricket Academy and was included in the team’s 17-member ODI squad for the England tour.

Kaur also stressed that the England tour will provide opportunities to the new faces in the team and the team could prepare for an important event like the T20 World Cup in South Africa to be played in some months.

“We have been struggling in the slog overs. With new players like D Hemlatha and Kiran Navgire coming in, I am sure we will improve on this front too. We want to give equal chances to all and also work on their skills during the course of competitive matches. I saw Kiran Navgire do well in the T20 Women’s Challenge, I reckoned she played very well. She along with Hemlatha can be good for the team and add more value,” said Kaur, who was not sure yet about Jemimah Rodrigues' fitness.

Rodrigues, who suffered an injury during the Hundred, will be available from the beginning of the tour. Under Kaur, India reached the final of the Commonwealth Games but lost to Australia by nine runs in the final and finished as runners-up. In absence of Goswami in the CWG T20 games, medium-pacer Renuka Thakur did well with the ball.

“I was not happy with the result we had in the final. But then our effort was appreciated back home and so many state governments felicitated the team with worthy rewards. So that was commendable. With an eye on the future, we want to do well and better our performances,” shared 32-year-old Kaur, who has been in red-hot form since the ODI World Cup played in New Zealand.

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    Shalini Gupta is a member of the Chandigarh sports team and has been a sports journalist for 10 years. She mainly writes on cricket.

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