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Last chance for England Women to make a point

India will look to win the third and final match today

Smart and skilful bowling was the hallmark of the vastly experienced Jhulan Goswami and the persevering Shikha Pandey in the first two ODIs of the ICC Women’s Championship.

Bagging 11 wickets together, through bowled and leg before dismissals, Jhulan and Shikha demonstrated the value of bowling straight, giving breakthroughs while helping India clinch the series. India would now look forward to win the third and final match on Thursday.

Jhulan is 35 and Shikha 29, and as new-ball operators, they have taken 57 wickets in 20 matches, the best ever by a pair of mediumpacers in the annals of Indian women’s cricket. Last year, Jhulan bid adieu to T20 in order to preserve herself till the next World Cup.

Work ethics

After India’s second win on Monday, Shikha said that she had picked up a lot about work ethics from Jhulan. “She is a seam bowler and I am a swing bowler. I am actually only trying to match. I have huge standards to meet.”

On the eve of the final ODI, Jhulan acknowledged the contribution of Shikha saying, “Well, I know Shikha for almost 3-4 years. We are working together and she is a very hard-working girl; she is doing well at the moment and she should continue with that. I just share some of my experiences with her, that’s all.”

Not surprised

The England captain Heather Knight, though, is not surprised by the Indian pacers’ success. She said, “We knew they were very good seam bowlers. They have performed well against us in the past. Jhulan, when she finishes, will go down as one of the best players and probably the best seamer India has ever produced.

“We probably have not played them as well as we could have. It’s now moving forward and coming up with plan for them. Pandey swung the ball throughout the match which is something you don’t expect when you come to India.”

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