Senior Indian pacer Jhulan Goswami on Wednesday said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India will decide whether the national team will play Pakistan in a bilateral series as a part of the International Cricket Council’s Women’s One-Day International Championship after the Pulwama attack.
The tournament is a qualification process for the 2021 Women’s ODI World Cup and every team get points for the matches play.
While this is a part of ICC Women’s World Cup, it is unlikely that India and Pakistan will engage in a bilateral series. According to the current schedule, India have not been slotted to play Pakistan. However, there is a possibility of the two teams being pitted against each other when the next set of itinerary is released.
“That [India-Pakistan match] the BCCI will decide. We don’t know what will happen against Pakistan and I cannot comment on that,” Goswami said on the eve of the match.
“But all the matches are important for us and whenever we play, we must play positive and good cricket and try to do things in the right way,” she added.
There have even been calls to boycott the men’s World Cup group league game against Pakistan in June, but the BCCI has left it on the “central government to decide”.
The norm has been to play Pakistan at all ICC events but the women’s encounter is going to be a bilateral fixture even though it’s an ICC qualifier. As of now, there is no possibility that the women’s team will play against Pakistan.
‘Enjoying playing just one format of the game’
Meanwhile, Goswami has said quitting T20 Internationals has rejuvenated her mentally and physically, and she is now enjoying playing just the 50-over format.
The 36-year-old, who is the leading wicket-taker in one-day internationals, retired from the shortest format of the game just three months before the T20 World Cup that was held in November last year.
“Well, I am mentally and physically very fresh. Mostly, I am enjoying my cricket, because T20 is a format where you need to be physically and mentally a little aggressive,” Goswami told reporters in Mumbai on the eve of the final ODI against England.
“That way [now] I am getting more time for myself to think about what to do and what not to do, so I am enjoying playing just one format of the game.”
Goswami said that she is enjoying her rhythm since the South Africa tour last year. “Since the South Africa tour, I am bowling well so far. I bowled against England in Nagpur. In Sri Lanka, I bowled well. New Zealand, and now England,” she said.
“I’m enjoying my rhythm and I just try to do what I can do from my side. I am trying my level best because as a senior player, you have a lot of responsibility. When you get older, you need to stick to a certain plan and try to implement those things at the right time,” she added.
Goswami had chipped in with a handy 30-run knock in the opening ODI, which helped the hosts cross the 200-run mark, and she credited coach WV Raman for believing in her batting skills.
“This credit goes to Raman sir. He is the one who is telling me that you have to work on your batting, those runs are important for the team, and if you are not serious about your batting, it will be difficult,” she said. “From the first day, he gave me batting [in the nets]. All thanks to him, he believed in my batting skills and I am just lucky enough to be able to execute what I have learnt.”
Goswami said she discussed certain mental aspects with Raman. “Because most of the times, I speak to him [Raman] about lot of other aspects, I discuss with him about the mental aspects [in the game], because he is watching from outside with a wider angle and we are inside,” she said.
“So I just discuss a lot about the mental aspects, the mental process, how I can prepare, how I can become better, and which area I can improve. All these discussions so far are working well for us.”
India have grabbed four points in the ICC Women’s ODI Championship after winning the first two matches against England.
The hosts have already sealed the three-match ODI series by taking a 2-0 lead, but Goswami said that they can’t take England lightly in the final match, considering the fact that championship points are at stake.
“Every match is important because every match has points for the ICC World Cup. We are looking forward to play some good cricket over there,” she said.
“We must stick to our plan, whatever we are doing well, we must continue with that and just go through our own process. If we are able to hold our nerves, then maybe, the result will go in our favour.”