Discordant ending halts England’s brave pursuit as India icon Jhulan Goswami bids farewell to Women’s ODI victory


s the curtain has fallen on Jhulan Goswami’s extraordinary international career, it can’t have been how she last considered leaving the pitch.

Carried on the shoulders of her teammates, having played a key role in the win that secured India a famous 3-0 ODI series victory over England, the legendary seamstress was given a standing ovation by various corners of Lord’s, but didn’t hear much of it. applause, he being largely drowned out by boos after the most controversial ending of this series.

Chasing a modest 170 after Kate Cross’ fine four for 26, England, chasing what would have been a consolation victory, looked doomed with a top and middle order collapse.

They had been 65 for seven and in desperate contention when Charlie Dean headed for the crease, but the No.9 struck beautifully to put the home side back in the running. She was unbeaten on 47, guiding the rest of the line-up within 17 points of an unlikely triumph, when she was exhausted falling back at the non-attacking end by Deepti Sharma.

The Indian players immediately gathered and closed ranks, apparently in discussion. The debate beyond their circle had already begun and will rage for some time to come.

Sharma shrugged. Dean was in tears. But after the big screen – as reluctant as a piece of inanimate visual technology can get – confirmed his dismissal, the Indian band turned to hugs and the England batter crossed the wicket and shook hands. And with that ended the international summer.

Until then, with India’s series victory already assured, Goswami’s dispatch had been history. The leading wicket-taker in the history of women’s international cricket confirmed her planned retirement ahead of this final, ending a 20-year career two months shy of her 40th birthday, and marked it with two farewell wickets; that of Alice Capsey, amid England’s batting implosion, then, in her final, that of Cross, a ball after passing the outrageous milestone of 10,000 deliveries in ODI cricket, while India seemed to be closing in on a comfortable victory.

Earlier, Cross had been magnificent with the new ball, winning three power-play wickets, including the precious scalp of Harmanpreet Kaur, who was dismissed for the first time in the series, after unbeaten scores of 74 and 143 in the two first games with a paltry four. here.

Cross would eventually complete the set of India’s top four strikers with the wicket of Smriti Mandhana shortly after reaching his 50s, but Sharma’s 68* out of 106 gave India something to play for, although the player 25-year-old had little chance to accelerate as India’s bottom three went down without scoring.

They included Goswami, who received a signed shirt from the England players before the game and offered a guard of honor as she took to bat in her 204th and final ODI, although the respect didn’t last long as she was thrown first pitch by Freya Kemp. , the teenager was only born three years after her debut.

The biggest benefit of the summer for England has been bringing in a core of youngsters who could become fixtures in this squad for a decade or more. Kemp (17), Alice Capsey (18), Issy Wong (20) and Lauren Bell (21) all made their debuts in multiple formats, while Sophia Dunkley had a bigger role, beating the order.

Coinciding with Anya Shrubsole’s retirement, Heather Knight’s hip injury (the skipper hasn’t played since June) and Katherine Brunt’s white ball at rest after signing her Test career, there has been a Accelerated but necessary changing of the guard, amplified by the absence of experienced all-rounder Nat Sciver from this series, on sanity hiatus since the end of the Hundred.

Although there will be T20 World Cups in 2023 and 2024, the next edition of the 50+ – the blue ribbon – is still three years away and, looking ahead to this cycle, it seems like a good time to the renewal. Nevertheless, the results here and now have been poor, because all of this has been confirmed in a very controversial way.

Action images via Reuters

After a (usually) drawn Test there were six out of six wins in both white-ball formats against South Africa at the start of the summer, but England’s failure to trouble the novelty of a Commonwealth Games podium in Birmingham has now been backed by a first home series loss to anyone other than Australia since 2007 and only a second whitewashed home series since 2001. With a World Cup world T20 in South Africa in less than six months, there is work to be done for whoever replaces outgoing head coach Lisa Keightley.

India’s rise to prominence is the big draw in women’s cricket, but this summer also seems to have shown an acceleration. Apart from beating England at home, India really should have won Commonwealth gold, provided a magnificent opportunity against Australia in the final, and probably should have beaten the world champions in the group stage as well.

The advent of a women’s IPL, confirmed as still on track for launch early next year by BCCI President Sourav Ganguly this week, will only accelerate the force’s progress to come. Sport.

By the time England and Australia meet in their historic Ashes series next summer – announced this week to include a historic five-day test and a first Ashes T20 here at Lord’s – they will do so with full illusions on their perceived (and relatively one-sided) duopoly on the women’s game shattered.

Goswami said this week that the only regret of his two-decade long career was India’s failure to win a World Cup. In one format or another, it surely won’t be long.

standard Sport

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