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October 7, 2008
The new selection committee has sprung two surprises, naming Jhulan Goswami, the fast bowler, as India's captain for the women's tour of Australia and recalling the former captain Anjum Chopra to the 15-member squad. Goswami takes over from Mithali Raj, who led the team since the 2005 World Cup. The tour, starting October 28, features five ODIs and one Twenty20 international.
"I am really excited and honoured by the Board's decision to make me the captain of India," Goswami told the Hindu."I am ready for the job and looking forward to playing in Australia."
Goswami also welcomed the return of Chopra, who is India's second highest run scorer in ODIs but last played for India in the Quadrangular Series in February 2007 in Chennai. The forthcoming tour will be India's last series ahead of next year's World Cup, also in Australia. "Anjum carries a great amount of experience which will help the side immensely. It is an important tour for us because the World Cup will follow soon after."
The other players making a comeback are batsman Anagha Deshpande, allrounders Reema Malhotra and Thirush Kamini and offspinner Nooshin Al Khadeer. Kamini was sent to Cricket Australia's Centre for Excellence in August just before the tour of England.
Raj said India's 4-0 loss on their recent tour of England could have prompted the selectors to replace her. "England was miserable and that's the reason I think the selectors chose to name another captain," she said. "Jhulan is good. Her captaincy might give the team a much-needed boost, with the World Cup round the corner."
Jhulan Goswami (capt), Rumeli Dhar, Jaya Sharma, Sulakshana Naik (wk), Mithali Raj, Anjum Chopra, Thirush Kamini, Amita Sharma, Priyanka Roy, Snehal Pradhan, Gouher Sultana, Anagha Deshpande, Reema Malhotra, Nooshin Al Khadeer, Seema Pujare
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