Women keen to make an impact

Goswamis team leaves for England today

 Indian women’s cricket team captain Jhulan Goswami (centre) addresses the media on Thursday. She is flanked by coach Anju Jain (left) and manager Cavatina Patel. DH Photo

“The team looks very good. We’ve had a good month-long camp, focussing on fitness and other aspects,” said skipper Jhulan Goswami at press conference here at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Thursday. “The girls have shaped up well and are keen to do well. It is a very young squad but not short on experience or confidence. Overall, I would say we have a balanced squad that is eager to perform.”

The team, which will leave on Friday evening for London, will first take part in a T20 competition from June 23-27 before playing a 50-over tournament from June 30 to July 7. Both are quadrangular tournaments, with the other teams being favourites and hosts England, Australia and New Zealand.

“It is a very important tournament for the team. All the top teams in the world are playing.

“In the last two series at home, we beat England -- currently the best women’s team in the world --  and the West Indies. On most occasions, we have done well at home but performed poorly abroad. We’ve never played to our potential away. This is a great opportunity and we hope to come good,” added Jhulan, who will also be leading the pace attack.

With an eye on the future, the selectors have pieced together a very young squad but Jhulan remained optimistic about the team’s chances. “The absence of some senior players like Anjum Chopra and Rumeli Dhar is indeed disappointing. We will definitely miss them. But it gives a chance to the youngsters to perform and I  am confident they will do well.

“Our preparations have been good. Once you earn the India cap, it should serve as a motivation to play well. Once you step on the field, there is no question of senior or junior. Performance is all that matters.” 

Coach Anju Jain too sidestepped questions on team selection, instead opting to address the job at hand. “It’s better you ask the selectors that (about selection),” she said. “Currently, with whatever squad we have got, we are trying to make the best we can. I am happy with the way the girls have taken their roles and responsibilities.

“We are preparing for the future and as Jhulan said, this tournament is very important. We have been trying to prepare ourselves in the best way possible.”

The squad: Jhulan Goswami (capt), Amita Sharma (vice-capt), Mithali Raj, Snehal Pradhan, Poonam Raut, Priyanka Roy, Harmanpreet Kaur, Neha Tanwar, Samantha Lobatto, Anagha Dehpande, Gouhar Sultana, Diana David, Veda Krishnamurthy, Ekta Bisht, Shilpa Gupta. Manager: Cavatina Patel. Coach: Anju Jain. Assistant coach: Tushar Arothe. Physiotherapist: MJ Sheela. Video Analyst: Ashutosh Dandige.

Schedule: Quadrangular T20 tournament: June 23 to 27. 50-over tournament: June 30 to July 7.

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