A legend and almost a mythical figure in women’s cricket, Jhulan Goswami, has finally bid adieu to a long journey of international cricket and she played her last game against England on English soil. A journey of 20 years has come to an end and it is a new beginning for the pace of maestro Jhulan Goswami. Goswami bows out as one of the greatest bowlers to have played the game. No women's player has more ODI wickets than the right-arm pacer. In fact, she is the only player in women's cricket to have breached the 250-wicket mark.
In the shortest format, she picked up 56 wickets in 68 games at an economy of 5.45 and in the longest format, she scalped 44 wickets in 12 games. Her legacy in cricket and overall sports will be remembered for a long time to come and she will be an inspiration for many women cricketers across the globe.
Jhulan’s legacy is beyond her stats and numbers in cricket. She became a pioneer of India’s women's cricket and took the sport to a completely different level. She single-handedly helped the women’s team to win games and inspired the whole team to work hard towards achieving trophies.
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In this article, we will look at the 20 years' journey of a girl who eventually became a legend across all formats and genders of cricket.Jhulan Goswami - International Debut
Soon after finishing her training in Kolkata, Goswami was called up to the Bengal women's cricket team. At the age of 19, she made her international debut in 2002 in a one-day International Match against England in Chennai. Her Test debut came on 14 January 2002 against England in Lucknow. Her incredible journey to international women’s cricket has begun and in the initial days, Mithali Raj became her crucial partner. Goswami along with Mithali Raj guided the Indian Women’s Cricket team to its first Test series win in England in the 2006–07 season. During the same season, Goswami helped the Indian Women's Cricket team to get their first victory against England, making a fifty as a night watchman in the first Test at Leicester and taking her career-best match figures of 10 for 78–5 for 33 and 5 for 45 – in the second test at Taunton.
Jhulan Goswami - Top 3 Performances in International Cricket
1) 5/16 vs England, fourth ODI (2005)
India completed a 5-0 domination over England in the five-match ODI series at home in 2005. In the fourth ODI, the visitors were reduced to their lowest-ever total in ODI history as a Goswami five-wicket haul bowled them out for just 50. In partnership with Amita Sharma, Goswami completely destroyed the batting lineup of the England squad and gave away just 16 runs.
2) 6/31 vs New Zealand, sixth match, Quadrangular series (2011)
New Zealand has always been India’s one arch-rival when it comes to cricket. Jhulan Goswami was aware of this fact and made sure that team India dominates the Kiwis with the ball in a Quadrangular series in 2011. She rattled the stumps of Nicola Browne and Kate Ebrahim to finish with a six-wicket haul, her best figure in ODI cricket. Unfortunately, it came in a losing cause as India fell short by 39 runs while chasing 202.
3) 5/11 vs Australia, fifth T20I (2012)
India were once again at the receiving end of a thrashing – this time in T20Is at home against Australia – and once again it was Jhulan Goswami who saved her side the blushes. With the series already losing 4-0 going into the final match, India only had the pride to play for. By picking up the wickets of Alyssa Healy and Lisa Sthalekar at the beginning of the game, she cleared her intentions and helped India win the game.
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Words: Shimit Mathur