Jhulan Goswami went wicketless against England and Windies. © Getty Images

Jhulan Goswami went wicketless against England and Windies. © Getty Images

Jhulan Goswami revealed on Tuesday (August 8) that she had asked Tushar Arothe, the head coach of the Indian team at the recent Women’s World Cup 2017, to drop her from the XI after she had performed poorly in the first couple of games.

Goswami, the 34-year-old pacer, went wicketless against England and Windies before finding her rhythm back in the latter stages of the tournament, claiming ten wickets and playing a key role in the win over Australia in the semifinal.

“I talked to my coach that I am not bowling well, so you can drop me in the next match,” she said during a Cricket Association of Bengal felicitation function. “I told him this after the West Indies match. He said, ‘No, I want you to be there and lead the bowling unit’. I think I was preparing in such a way … earlier stages of the World Cup, I was not bowling well and I was very disappointed.”

India started the event strongly, winning their first four games – including an opening-day victory over England, the eventual champions – before losing the next two against South Africa and Australia. Their last group-stage match against New Zealand was a must-win affair, and they trounced the opposition to win by 186 runs.

That set up a semifinal against Australia, and Goswami, who had become the highest wicket-taker in women’s One-Day Internationals earlier in the year, was at her best, returning 2 for 35, including the wicket of Meg Lanning.

She revealed that she had asked Mithali Raj, the team’s captain and her old mate, to play like Lanning in the nets so that she could set up a plan. Goswami eventually went on to deliver the ‘ball of the tournament’ to uproot Lanning’s off stump with the batter yet to get off the mark.

“In the Australia match, it was important as they are the best team in the world,” said Goswami. “Meg Lanning is among the best players in the world and she is very strong square of the wicket. Two days before the match I told Mithali to bat in a way that I can bowl square of the wicket and then she will give me the feedback. That’s how I prepared. Luckily everything went in our way.”

In the final against England, Goswami’s tidy spell of 3 for 23 restricted the home side to a modest total of 228 for 7 but it wasn’t enough to prevent her side from going down by nine runs.

The veteran pacer received Rs 10 lakh and a plaque on the occasion.