Jhulan Goswami: We cannot rush things when training resumes

There has been no cricketing activities for almost three months and when outdoor training resumes, Jhulan Goswami wants players to take one step at a time.

Jhulan Goswami now only features in the ODI format.   -  Vivek Bendre

It’s been seven months since Jhulan Goswami last donned the India colours and it was during the ODI series against the West Indies.

In that three-match series, the Indian pace ace scalped four wickets.

But with the focus shifting to T20Is soon after, due to the T20 World Cup in February, Jhulan -- who only features in the ODIs now -- was hoping to get herself ready for next year’s 50-over Women’s World Cup.

But her plans were halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought the world to a standstill.

With no cricketing activities for almost three months now, Jhulan understands that the comeback road won’t be easy. “The momentum is broken, so it will take some time to get back in shape. But we cannot rush things,” she told Sportstar.

While some of the national sports federations have slowly resumed their training sessions, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to come out with an SOP and there is no word on when the activities would resume.

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“We will have to wait for further instructions. As and when the restrictions are relaxed, we need to coordinate with the local associations and start training, maintaining social distancing,” Jhulan said.

While all the members of the Indian cricket team are following training routines suggested by the team doctors and the physios, none of them have started outdoor training yet and Jhulan believes that they need to take one step at a time.

“When you are coming back to a competitive environment, there is a possibility of the niggles resurfacing. That will, again, be a challenge. So, you have to be very careful and take things step by step,” the 37-year-old said, suggesting that it is, however, important to start the process. “It’s not going to be easy, but we need to be calculative and smart in our approach. We cannot afford to rush things and even as we start training, things have to be systematic,” Jhulan said.

Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj during a training session in Vadodara.   -  Vijay Soneji

 

One of the senior most members of the Indian team, Jhulan has bagged 225 ODI wickets and she admits that the ICC’s decision of banning the use of saliva to shine the ball will initially have an impact on the bowlers.

“As a fast bowler, we are used to using the saliva to shine the ball, so it is not easy to change the habits overnight. But we need to deal with it and come up with a new innovation. For that, regular practice will be the key,” Jhulan said.

We need an alternative to saliva: Bumrah  

Even after the action resumes, there is a possibility of the matches being held in empty stadiums. And Jhulan believes that the game, too, will change immensely. “The game will change for sure -- there will be no celebrations, team-mates need to maintain social distances -- but the only positive will be the fact that we will at least play the game, again. That’s of prime importance,” the seasoned campaigner said.

With the 50-over World Cup scheduled to be held in New Zealand next year, there is not much time to train for the players, but Jhulan is optimistic that things will ease out soon, and they can start preparing for the mega event.

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