Hamilton: Veteran India pacer Jhulan Goswami on Wednesday backed teen batting sensation Shafali Verma to overcome her poor form in the ongoing ICC women's World Cup sooner than later, saying that the swashbuckler is hitting the ball quite well during net sessions.
Verma was dismissed for a duck in the opening game against Pakistan that Indian won and hasn't exactly done well for the past few games. The 18-year-old's form is expected to be crucial to the team's chances of landing a first ever ICC title.
"Shafali has already proved herself. She is a very exciting cricketer. But these things happen with every cricketer," Goswami said in a virtual press conference ahead of the game against New Zealand here on Thursday.
"I am sure she is working hard really well in the nets, she is batting well in the nets; she is hitting the ball really well.
"She is just one big knock away and if she gets an opportunity, I am sure she is going to do well," she added.
Talking about the upcoming match, Goswami said it was important to bowl in the right areas against New Zealand.
"...against New Zealand, it is important to bowl in the right area. The grounds are pretty open, winds are always flowing, so how to take advantage of those things. We discussed a lot of stuff," she said.
"I think Pooja (Vastrakar), Meghana (Singh), Renuka (Singh Thakur), Simran (Dil Bahadur), they have done a decent job always when they get an opportunity and I hope they will continue with their performance," she added.
Bowled well against Pakistan
According to Goswami, the bowlers put up a good show in the lung-opener against Pakistan, which the Mithali Raj-led side won by 107 runs.
"I think we bowled well. I guess we hit the ball in the right areas and as a group we bowled well. The new ball bowlers restricted them very well in the first 10 overs...
"Then the spinners bowled well, they were getting a bit of turn on that wicket and I think restricting them below 150 runs is quite a good achievement as a bowling unit," said Goswami.
She felt the plan to land early in New Zealand for a few games against the hosts has helped India during the ongoing campaign.
"...that was the plan, just before the World Cup, to acclimatise with these conditions and wickets and come back and play fresh in this World Cup.
"(But) tomorrow's match is a totally different ball game, it is a fresh game and it is a World Cup game and definitely we are looking forward (to it)," said the speedster.
Goswami needs just two more wickets to become the highest wicket-taker in women's World Cup.
She currently has 38 World Cup wickets to her name and is just one short of Australia's Lyn Fullston's tally of 39 wickets.
Asked about it, she said, "Honestly speaking, I didn't know that...I am not aware of that. But (the) important (thing) is as a senior member of the side, (I should) go there and perform well, give early breakthroughs.
"That is my job and I often stick to my role and that is the important thing," she asserted.
"If you play (for) a long time, you are going to achieve a few individual milestones, yes that gives me a lot of joy. I enjoy (when) I contribute and the team wins. Personal milestones do not matter to me as I am an absolute team player."...