Smriti Mandhana paid tribute to the retiring Jhulan Goswami after the first ODI against England where India emerged victorious by eight wickets. The batter went on to talk about her own batting approach and how she battled the conditions on offer in order to score the big runs and take India home.
India have bounced back strongly from the series defeat in T20Is to emerge triumphant in the first ODI against England in Hove on Sunday with a considerable eight wickets and 34 balls to spare. The entire team put in a collective effort to be in the driver's seat throughout the length of the encounter, finishing it off comfortably in the end.
All eyes at the start of the match were on veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami who is set to end her two-decades-long international career after the series finishes. The 39-year-old is the highest wicket-taker in ODIs with 253 scalps to her name in 202 matches and is a bona fide legend of the sport. She has shown little signs of slowing down even in her twilight days and was once again at the top of her game against England, producing brilliant figures of 10-2-20-1. She got rid of Tammy Beaumont early with the new ball, setting the stage for an Indian onslaught much as she has done throughout her career
"I want to say that this series is for Jhulu di (Jhulan Goswami), her bowling was amazing. All our efforts in this series will be for Jhulu di," opener Smriti Mandhana was quoted saying by NDTV after the victory.
The high-flying batter put in a great display as well to continue her great form, taking home the player of the match award with her 91 off 99 deliveries, lacing the knock with 10 boundaries and a maximum. A soft dismissal in the 37th over deprived her of the chance to get a seventh international century but the 26-year-old showed class in the way she read the conditions and got about her batting.
"ODIs are natural for me, T20s I have to put effort to take care of the strike rate. In ODIs I can just react. But I'm happy to lay the platform," Mandhana revealed.
"Thanks to the supporters for coming out, happy to put out a show for them. I'm happy that Harman (Harmanpreet Kaur) won the toss. I saw the pitch in the first innings and told myself to cut down on the back-foot play. But didn't hold back too much," she concluded.
India takes on England in the second ODI on Tuesday in Canterbury with an opportunity to seal the three-match series in their favour.