Jhulan Goswami    Getty Images
Jhulan Goswami Getty Images

Led by Mithali Raj, India Women did a splendid work in ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, as they finished as the runners-up. While Mithali, Harmanpreet Kaur, Punam Raut and Deepti Sharma had their moments of brilliance throughout the tournament, team’s veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami saved her best for the last, bagging a three-for at the prestigious Lord’s Cricket Ground in the final against England. Talking about the experience, Jhulan admitted that it indeed was a ‘dream come true’ to play in such high-intensity match at the iconic venue.

When asked to share her experience at Lord’s, Jhulan said, “Playing at Lord’s is a dream for any cricketer. Earlier, women’s cricketers were not allowed to play there. When I visited the ground for the first time, I had picked up a handful of grass from there. I was just a visitor then. I did not know if I could play here ever. Then we had one washed-out match at Lord’s. But playing in the final is definitely one of the best experiences.”

“The pressure was there. There was not as much bounce as was expected. The pitch was on the slower side. I tried to bowl in the right areas and kept bowling in a certain line. This plan worked and I found success.”

India, who had to play the qualifiers to play in World Cup, defeated England and New Zealand in the round-robin stage and Australia in the semi-final.

“The way ICC conducted this World Cup and promoted women’s cricket. A new road will be there for women’s cricket and all will play an important role. Mansi did not get chances in this tournament. She has the spark and swings the balls well. She must improve her fitness level and can carry the legacy. Both she and Shikha are good bowlers and hopefully we will get good fast bowlers,” said Jhulan.

Poonam Raut too added to the quotes. “We have to play in that conditions which were different from India. Our preparation was done accordingly. We went 10- 12 days in advance, and that helped us to acclimatise to the conditions. Yes, we felt good, the rousing reception was not expected. The way our team has played, we deserved it,” she said.

Deepti Sharma too spoke about her role of perfection. “I knew that what was my role, so was doing accordingly. I needed to work on dot balls and I just did that. In batting, I had to work on partnerships and rotate strike and I did that,” she said. While Smriti Mandhana too added, “As a kid, you always dream of playing at the Lord’s and unfortunately in 2014 we missed playing at Lords as the match was washed out. I remember Mithali telling me that the 2017 World Cup final is at the same ground, and if we do well we will playing. That happened and it was a dream come true.”