Hamilton, March 9 (IANS) Veteran India pacer Jhulan Goswami believes that their match against New Zealand in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup on Thursday will be completely different from the bilateral matches played before the mega event.
After a winning start to their campaign against Pakistan by 107 runs on Sunday, India will take on hosts New Zealand at Seddon Park, an opposition who defeated them 4-1 in the ODI series at Queenstown scheduled just before the World Cup.
“Well, definitely because that was the plan (of playing ODIs in New Zealand). Just before World Cup, we had to acclimatise to these conditions, wickets and come back to play fresh in this World Cup. Tomorrow’s match is totally going to be a different ball game; it’s a fresh game and a World Cup game. We are definitely looking forward to make sure that we do well,” said Jhulan in the pre-match virtual press conference.
Jhulan brushed off suggestions that India’s bowling attack wasn’t put through a stern test against Pakistan at Bay Oval. “We bowled well as a group; we hit the ball in right areas. New-ball bowlers restricted them very well in first 10 overs and then spinners were able to get a bit of turn on that wicket. Restricting them to below 150 runs is quite a good achievement as a bowling unit.”
The India-New Zealand face-off is going to be the second match at Seddon Park after Australia and England played a high-scoring match on March 5, where the defending champions fell short of chasing 311 by 12 runs. Jhulan is expecting another run-fest to happen but is confident of executing India’s bowling plans to perfection on match day.
“This wicket looks to be a high-scoring and looks pretty flat. We all are expecting some good score on the scoreboards and definitely, we have a plan. We will try to execute but it is going to be very important on how will you execute those plans on that particular day. We have done our work but it’s going to be different on match day. How you control the pressure and handle your nerves to execute the plans, it’s going to be important. Let’s hope for the best.”
Jhulan also backed opener Shafali Verma to come good, saying the youngster is just one knock away from coming back in form. Shafali has been in a lean patch since the ODIs against New Zealand, scoring 12, 24, 51, 0 and 9. Against Pakistan, she fell for a six-ball duck.
“I think Shefali already proved herself — she is another very exciting cricketer. But these things happen with every cricketer, sometimes they perform well, sometimes, little bit here and there. But I’m sure that she will (come good). She’s working hard really well in the nets and batting well in the nets, hitting the ball really well. I hope she will come (good), she is just one big knock away, and if she gets the opportunity, I’m sure definitely she’s going to do well because she is a very exciting cricketer for us.”