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Not dwelling in past: Jhulan

Mumbai: India women’s cricket team captain Jhulan Goswami said the team would not be weighed down by the success or the failure of the past, when they play in the upcoming World Cup in Australia.

The Indian women’s team had a spectacular run in the 2005 edition of the quadrennial event in South Africa where they reached the final. Mithali Raj’s team then seemed unstoppable until they ran into a formidable Australian side in the summit clash.

But the current side is going through a transition and has a few youngsters in the 16-member squad.

The team, whose average age is 22.3, suffered a 0-4 loss in England last summer and, more importantly, were drubbed 5-0 by Australia in what was considered a warm-up for the World Cup.

Jhulan, however, remains confident that if the team managed to shed the baggage of the past, they could actually go one step further than the last team did in 2005 and actually win the prestigious tournament.

“We are not looking back, what matters now is this moment. The past (the performance of 2005) can motivate us, but we can do better,” Jhulan told reporters at the MCA cricket ground, where the Indian team is undergoing a preparatory camp.

“It (winning the Cup) is not going to be the goal... We will try to win but our goal is to play good cricket and improve our level.”

Jhulan, for whom the World Cup will be the first major challenge as a captain, said the recent debacles against England and Australia would not hurt the team’s chances in Australia.

“I don’t think so. It’s a new year and a new tournament. We are going to put everything behind us and play positive cricket,” she said.

“We did not play good cricket in Australia. But we are motivating the youngsters and will ask them to play their natural game.”

Anjum Chopra, 31, the senior-most member of the team, said what the current team lacked in experience will be made up with youth.

“The 2005 team had more experience. All the players had been playing for India and had 20-40 Internationals under their belt… The current team has a balance between youth and experience. There is an influx of fresh legs and that combination should work,” the former captain said.

The youngest member of the team is Thirush Kamini, an 18-year-old left-hand batter and leg-spinner from Tamil Nadu. The rookie said she would take inspiration from her city-mate A.R. Rahman who bagged two Oscars on Monday.

“Rahman has done all the Indians proud. His success at the international level will motivate us also to do well,” the Chennai girl, who won the Best Women’s Junior Cricketer award for 2007-08, said.

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