Legendary fast bowler Jhulan Goswami on Saturday received a guard of honour from the players while walking out to bat for the final time in international cricket during India’s third ODI against England at Lord’s on Saturday. Stepping on the field for her last international game, Jhulan had the honour of doing the toss for India against England and also gave a speech in the team huddle. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who had debuted under Jhulan’s captaincy in 2009, broke down in tears when Jhulan addressed the side.

She was even provided with a memento before the start of the match at Lord’s. England head coach Lisa Keightley, whose term ends after Saturday’s match, presented Goswami with a shirt signed by the England players along with interim ECB CEO Clare Connor.

Jhulan walked in to bat at number nine for India after an ordinary batting display from the visitors in the 39th over, and received a heartfelt guard of honor on the field as she made her way out one final time in international cricket. Playing in her 204th ODI, Jhulan was unfortunately dismissed for a golden duck in her final international innings as young left-arm pacer Freya Kemp castled her.

Earlier, put in to batting first, India lost wickets in quick succession to be reduced to 29/4 in 8.4 overs, before Smriti Mandhana (50) and Deepti Sharma (68 not out) resurrected the innings. However, India continued to lose wickets at quick intervals after the 58-run partnership between Smriti and Deepti was broken.

It wasn’t long before Goswami came out to bat and eventually, India were bowled out for 169 in 45.4 overs. Incidentally, the last time she was dismissed for a golden duck in ODIs was during the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup final against England at the very same iconic venue. The tournament, one of the high points of Jhulan’s cricketing career, ended with India losing the final by nine runs.

Six years later, though, in her final international series, Jhulan had the honour of being a member of the Indian team that beat England in an ODI series in England for the first time in 23 years.

For England, pacer Kate Cross was the star performer with the ball, ripping through the Indian top order with her unplayable swing bowling and tailor-made conditions. India will be hoping that Jhulan adds to her tally of 353 international wickets when they come out in defence of 169.

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By Dipak

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