Kolkata : Down with a heel injury, veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami on Thursday said winning a World Cup title remains her ultimate dream and the Indian team would first look to reach the semifinals at the women’s World T20 when it is held in November this year.
Down with a heel injury, Goswami returned home after being ruled out of the ongoing T20I series against South Africa. She will now head to National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru to recover within four to six weeks time.
India have never won the coveted World Cup as they narrowly missed the ODI World Cup title going down to hosts England by nine runs at the Lord’s in July last year in what was their second defeat in a final.
But 2018 provides them another opportunity to take a shot at glory with the World Twenty20 hosted by the defending champions West Indies from November 9-24.
“The preparation has begun from the series in South Africa. With about a year left, it’s the perfect time for us to prepare in the right way,” Jhulan told PTI after returning home.
“If we win, it will be like an icing in the cake. Obviously I began playing keeping the World Cup in mind always. It does not come every year. It takes four years. It’s like winning an Olympic gold,” said the 35-year-old, who is in her 16th year of International cricket.
Jhulan said the process has begun and the upcoming series against England, Australia and Asia Cup will provide ample opportunities to sharpen their skills. Australia women will tour India in March next year for a three-match ODI series as part of the ICC Women’s Championship, followed by a T20I tri-series involving the hosts and England. Giving credit to the Board for helping in their preparation, Jhulan said legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s peptalk before heading to South Africa motivated the team.
Jhulan further said they have included four newcomers — Tanya Bhatia, Jemimah Rodrigues and Pooja Vastrakar — for the series in South Africa keeping in mind the World Twenty20.
“Last two years, we were focused on playing one-dayers. Now it’s the time for T20s. Concentrating on the process now.” Jhulan bagged her 200th wicket in her 166th ODI in Kimberly on February 7 when she dismissed South African opener Laura Wolvaardt in the fifth over with an outswinger as India went on to beat the hosts by 178 runs. “Never thought about the milestone when I started my career. In a long career, you are bound to achieve milestones. I never ran after a milestone,” the lanky pacer said.
“Nothing lasts forever but I would prefer a medium-pacer breaking my record,” Jhulan said. Incidentally in the same match she sustained the heel injury and could not train the next day as MRI revealed the nature of injury.