On the record with Anjum

Anjum Chopra’s records speaks for her. With 2544 runs in 109 one-dayers,she is India’s second highest run-getter,after Mithali Raj.

Written by Vinayak Padmadeo | New Delhi | Published:February 19, 2009 11:31 pm

Anjum Chopra’s records speaks for her. With 2544 runs in 109 one-dayers,she is India’s second highest run-getter,after Mithali Raj. What’s more,she is on her way to claim another record: to become the first Indian woman to play in four World Cups. But playing for records or milestones is unlike her,and the 31-year-old,who made her debut in 1995,rates wearing the Team India jersey is the biggest of her achievements.

“These numbers automatically add up when you play for that long,” says Anjum,speaking to the Sportline a day ahead of India’s World Cup preparatory camp that begins in Mumbai. “But playing for India is a bigger honour for me. To wear the Indian colours is the ultimate for me.” Right now,the numbers she is more concerned about are the points India will carry forward into the Super Six of the tournament. And she has a point as this time there will be no semi-final match-ups. Only top two teams from the Super Six will make the final.

“We have a good team and should have no problem in making it to the Super Six. But once there,we have to ensure we carry the maximum points that we can to have a chance to qualify for the finals. We have to be mindful of this fact,” Chopra adds.

The last time the Indian eves were in Australia,they were badly thrashed by the hosts. They also finished second best to the same side in tournament’s last edition. But it won’t have much of an impact on India’s chances in the tournament,feels Anjum.

“When we toured last year the pitches had a lot of juice and so we were beaten. But conditions will be different by the time we reach Sydney. With the Australian season about to get over,the pitches will be batting friendly and hence will be in our favour,” she quips.

So can they go the distance this time? “Lifting the World Cup would be great. But to achieve that,we have to take it one game at a time.”

No retirement plans
Talks of hanging her boots or whether this would be the last World Cup meets are brushed aside. “I am only 31 now. I may not be the fittest in the country but I would certainly be in the top three. Besides,I have already made up my mind to play the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in July in England. It’s not right to talk about retirement just yet,” she says adding: “I know players who play well past 35. Look at Jayasuriya,he’s 39 but is fit and still among runs.”

She may not be looking too far into the future,but does sometimes reflect on the career thus far. And one innings that she finds close to her heart is the series-winning 98 runs against England at Taunton in 2006. “People talk of scoring big runs,but innings like mine against England will always be remembered by everybody. It was indeed special. I want to score many more like that,” she signs off.

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