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5 Times Jhulan Goswami Let the Ball Carry Her Legacy to Infinity and Beyond

The 39-year-old pacer called it quits, with the 3rd ODI against England at Lord's on Saturday being her last game.

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Cricket
4 min read
5 Times Jhulan Goswami Let the Ball Carry Her Legacy to Infinity and Beyond
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The name Jhulan Goswami needs no introduction. With a career spanning over two decades, the 39-year-old has perched herself amongst the pantheon of greats to have played the game of cricket.  

At 5’11, Goswami has been a towering presence in the domain of women’s cricket, both literally and figuratively.  

Having started her journey for India as a 19-year-old back in 2002, Jhulan now bids adieu to cricket as the highest wicket-taker in women’s internationals with 353 scalps across formats. 

The third ODI against England on Saturday, 24 September, in the famed Lord’s was the legendary pacer’s final swansong following which she has now hung up her boots from the highest echelons of the sport.
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Talent will only take you so far, and Jhulan, over the course of her career, has incorporated this aphorism with the utmost severity. From catching early morning trains to Kolkata as a teenager for training, to winning the 2007 ICC women's player of the year, Goswami has seen it all.  

To sustain at the highest level, that too as a fast bowler, necessitates sheer hard work and commitment, something which the Chakdaha-born pacer has exhibited during the entirety of her playing time.

She has the second-longest career in women’s ODIs (20 years and 258 days) – a feat by no means easily attainable. Goswami’s former long-time teammate and Indian legend Mithali Raj (22 years 274 days) is the only cricketer ahead of her. 

During this period, Jhulan has featured 203 times for the women in blue and picked 253 wickets – the most by a women cricketer in ODI history.  

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This is just one among the many records held by the legendary pacer who has also featured in 12 Tests and 68 T20Is for the country.

The game, especially women's cricket, has moved leap and bounds since Jhulan's initial days and her contributions to the sport shall serve as life lessons for the upcoming and current crop of cricketers who dream of making it big.

India, and cricket in general, lost an able servant of the game as Goswami geared up one last time to unleash those vicious deliveries and walked into her cricketing sunset at Lord’s. 

That said, let’s revisit five of the best spells from the illustrious career of the bowler, popularly known as the ‘Chakda Express’. 

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5/25 vs England, Delhi (2005)

The first fifer in Goswami’s Test career came on the home soil when she grabbed five for 25 in the first innings against England in the one-off Test in Delhi, back in November 2005.  

The England top-order had no answer to a young Goswami, whose fifer helped India skittle out the visitors for 154 runs after posting 289 in their first innings.

Despite Goswami’s heroics with the ball, the match ended in a draw, with the Indian seamer evidently being adjudged the player of the match.  

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5/16 vs England, Silchar (2005)

Goswami was the lead architect once again against her fancied opponents – England, however, this time it came in an ODI match held at Silchar in December 2005.  

She put on a player of the match display, picking up five wickets and giving just 16 runs from 10 overs as England women bundled out for a meagre 50 runs.

In reply, India reached the target with 14.5 overs and 10 wickets to spare, making it one of the greatest ODI wins in women's cricket history.  

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5/33 and 5/45 vs England, Taunton (2006)

In August 2006 at Taunton in the United Kingdom, the world witnessed a bowler at the peak of her abilities. Though it had been four years since her debut, Jhulan’s best bowling display in a Test match came on foreign soil. 

The lanky pacer excelled with figures of 5/33 and 5/45 in the two innings and handed India their maiden overseas Test series victory against England. It also made her the youngest player to take 10 wickets in a women’s Test match at the age of 23 years 277 days.  

To date, she remains the only Indian woman to claim 10 wickets in a Test match. Thanks to Jhulan, India won the match by five wickets, and this remains one of the most iconic moments in the history of Indian women’s cricket. 
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6/31 vs New Zealand, Southgate (2011)

Jhulan’s best bowling figures in ODIs came against New Zealand at Southgate on 5 July 2011. The experienced pacer grabbed six wickets for 31 from her quota of 10 overs, helping India restrict the hosts to 201/8. 

However, Goswami’s bowling efforts went in vain as India lost the match to the white ferns by 39 runs.  

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5/11 vs Australia, Visakhapatnam (2012)  

A game where Goswami proved why she was an indispensable part of the Indian unit, be it any format. Having played a major share of her career in the ODI format, Goswami's credentials were not up to the mark in the T20 format.

However, she put an end to all her doubters with a display of fast bowling that oozed class in a T20 match in Visakhapatnam back in March 2012. The match saw Jhulan claim five wickets for 11 runs to bundle out the mighty Australians for a lowly total of 89 runs.  

Goswami’s excellent spell meant that India romped home to victory with eight wickets in hand. This remains Jhulan’s best bowling figure and her only fifer in the T20Is.

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Edited By :Garima Sadhwani
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