When Jhulan Goswami guided her adoring team to a win courtesy her 2-13 against Sri Lanka in the opening ODI, she celebrated with the quintessential flexing of her arms.
She jumped in joy as did her team.
Social media ran wild, making love to the women’s game, yet again. However, it appears, in the next few minutes, Jhulan, it could be said, would’ve retreated to her normal ways.
The game got over and she stepped out of the team bus.
Or, it’s expected, she may have hit the nets, or may have relaxed back at her hotel. Who knows, she may have strolled in the garden or might have spent some ‘me-time’ sipping green tea and might have finally hit the bed on time to prepare for the next day ahead.
But, in this process of moving on from a legendary landmark- that of being the first bowler in the women’s game to take 300 wickets- she opened a lid from which an endless string of appreciation has emerged.
And given the colossal feat that she’s scaled, it may never stop actually for the next few days.
After all, here’s the real truth about Jhulan Goswami
Jhulan Goswami is that prototype of a bot that doesn’t come with a stoppage or a pause button.
Forget the stop button. She’s that complex algorithm that cannot be solved. Forget it.
Get the best number crunchers and you cannot wrap your brains around how she’s the enigma that she is.
In a lighter note but affirmative to the real impact she’s had in the sport- put her inside an empty gymnasium, right across a treadmill that’s switched off. You will find it will function on its own. She turns things into motion; she’s a constantly flickering myth; except the fact that she’s for real.
Jhulan Goswami epitomises raw energy
At an age where she’s approaching the twilight of her career, she embodies a pure passion for the game. Her’s is a comet with unremitting energy and useful focus whose end-objective is to fetch glory to her country that sadly one has taken a long time to appreciate.
At 34, the 5’11’ pacer is going strong. Formats have never mattered to her; winning the contest for her side truly has.
Here’s something that might warrant an introspection of sorts.
In a world where everything is fast turning to instant gratification, virtues being forgotten in front of the cult of personalities, Jhulan Goswami has done the following.
Newspapers describe her 300th wicket at having hit the new ceiling for the women’s game. You’d rather think, she’s raised the bar for the competition.
Eras have come and gone; times have changed, formats have been decorated with entertainment only to cater to the changing vagaries of the viewers’ attention.
But a player has kept coming back at her opponents
No cuss words. There have been no angry stares; frustration at missing out on a catch or missing out on crushing the timber- yes.
But there’s been an absolute regard for a game called the gentleman’s sport of which she’s a true commander; responsible as much for decorating it as for upholding the contests’ dignity.
No international cricketer whether a stern opponent of India or an opposer to the many heights that Smriti is chasing would reserve one word of malice for Jhulan. The same holds true for Mithali.
An inspiration for Mansi and Pooja
While there’s as much a reason to celebrate and revel in Goswami’s 300th international scalp, rightly coming against a ferociously unpredictable opponent in Sri Lanka, it’s also a great learning lesson for the likes of Pooja Vastrakar and Mansi Joshi.
They will be expected to be not any longer the pillion riders of Team India’s bowling, but the standard-bearers of a cricketing excellence of which Jhulan Goswami’s been a remarkable example.
It’s also heartening to note how another unsung hero of the game, Shikha Pandey has held on to her own with a beautiful poise and restraint complementing this tall giant of Indian cricket.
Every word exchanged, an idea explored, a tip received or a word of motivation shared with her tall bowling partner would augur well for Shikha, who’s hit the peak of her form.
An exceptionally determined bowler with a natural flair and enthusiasm for contesting, one expects the Indian team to fully soak in every bit of cricket that it is playing alongside the earnest, Ms Goswami.