Women's World Cup 2009 February 20, 2009

Jhulan upbeat about India's prospects at World Cup

Cricinfo staff

If India do make it to the final of the World Cup, it will be Jhulan Goswami's 100th game © Getty Images

Jhulan Goswami, the India captain, is confident of her team's chances at the Women's World Cup despite weak performances recently. India were thrashed 5-0 in Australia in October and November, which followed a 4-0 mauling in a five-match contest in England a couple of months earlier. However, Jhulan was optimistic that the training camp held in Bangalore in January, and another which begins from February 20 in Mumbai, will be enough for the players to iron out the flaws.

"Prior to our preparations at home, we had tough tours to England and Australia last year, and though both the tours ended in disappointment, they gave us an excellent opportunity to strengthen our strong areas and fix our weak links," Jhulan told the Telegraph, a Kolkata-based daily.

"In terms of World Cup preparations, both series provided us with the chance to evaluate where we stood with ample time to find a way to lift our standards. By playing three months prior to the main event, we have given ourselves a very good chance to put ourselves back on track. Needless to say it was also a good wake-up call for us."

Jhulan, who was the ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year in 2007, has picked up 105 wickets at 22.23 in 93 ODIs so far. If India do qualify for the final, to be played on March 22 at the North Sydney Oval, it will be her 100th match.

"Playing 100 ODIs will be the perfect icing on the cake," she said. "But I would like to focus on the tournament, as winning the World Cup will bring huge honour to the country while completing a century of ODIs will only be a personal landmark."

India were runners-up in the previous edition in South Africa in 2005, losing the final against Australia by 98 runs. They are placed in Group A with Sri Lanka, Pakistan and England, and will face Pakistan in the tournament opener at the Bradman Oval in Bowral on March 7.