After becoming the first female cricketer to take 200 ODI wickets on February 7, India’s Jhulan Goswami reflected back on her sensational career till now, and believe it or not, she can remember each of the 200 wickets she took.
In an interview to bcci.tv, Goswami revealed that she cannot pick any one wicket as the special one of the favourite as she believes that every wicket is important. “I remember each of my 200 wickets, right from the beginning of my international career in 2002,” said Goswami, who has played 236 international matches for India.
“I still remember I got (Caroline) Atkins (the then England opener) out, caught in the slips. Mithali (Raj) was in the slip and she caught that catch.
Whenever I bowl at a crucial time in the match and end a partnership, it becomes special for me. I cannot pick one. All the wickets are planned. Every wicket is important,” said the 35-year-old.
The ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2007, Arjuna Awardee, Padma Shri winner and the once the fastest bowler in women’s cricket has been the mainstay of India women bowling unit since her debut in 2002, and she credits her training regime for being able to play this long despite being a fast bowler.
“I do a lot of training. I believe in my training,” revealed Goswami, adding, “As a fast bowler, you have to train hard as there are a lot of ups and downs. When things aren’t working my way, it is the process that counts.
I strongly believe that my training regime has helped me a lot because there is a lot of wear and tear. Injuries happen, but our schedule is such that we play one series, then we get a break of one or two months. So, I have got time to recover.”
With 290 International wickets (Tests, ODIs and T20I), Goswami is the all-time leading wicket-taker in women’s cricket. After winning the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2007, she captained India. She was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2010, and the Padma Shri two years later and for her there has been no bigger honour than wearing the India jersey.
“So far whenever I have played, I have tried to give more than my hundred per cent on the field. I always play for my team, it is not about an individual (performance). Every day, every session and every match, I always enjoy.
It is a huge honour for me to represent my country. Wearing the India jersey is a big honour for me. All these moments are very special moments in my career because iske elava mere life mein kuch nahi hai (there is nothing else in my life other than this),” she said.
However, for Goswami, scaling the personal milestone was made sweeter by the dominant performance put in by the team en route to a 178-run victory over South Africa in the 2nd ODI of the ICC Championship match. Goswami took one wicket in the match dominated by Indian batters – Smriti Mandhana (135), Harmanpreet Kaur (55*) and Veda Krishnamurthy (51*).
“Whatever milestone you have achieved, it feels good (only) when you are on the winning side. It was important for us to win. The points are important as it is the ICC Women’s Championship, a qualifying event for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021. So, more than the 200 wickets, it was important to take the two points from each and every match,” added the former India captain.
Born in a village in Nadia district of West Bengal, Goswami grew up as a fan of football. Her first tryst with cricket was when she watched the 1992 Cricket World Cup on TV and five years later she was enthralled by watching Belinda Clarke’s victory lap after Australia vs New Zealand 1997 Women’s World Cup final live at the stadium.