Happy Birthday, Anju Jain!

Probably one of the best players India has ever seen. With no doubts, is the best wicket-keeper. One of the fearless I must say. I remember how she was like lightening behind the wickets. Standing up to for Jhulan Goswami who was at the peak of her game those days. She used to touch 125-130 with ease. Anju Jain stood there near the stumps, converted many half chances. 

When most of the players quoted that opening the bat after keeping the wickets is the difficult job ever, Anju Jain enjoyed doing both and was great as well. 

When Jhulan Goswami or Mithali Raj retires, of course, they are the best players but the void they are going to leave is comparatively lesser than the void Anju Jain’s retirement caused. Right now, there are a lot of youngsters who have the potential to be the match-winners like Mithali or Jhulan but there’s not much talent even in the domestic circuit who can replace Anju Jain. It’s been more than 12 years since her retirement- her last match was 2005 WC final where India finished as the runners-up- India has seen a number of wicket-keepers which is more than 14 I guess. Even if they keep wickets well, most of them play/played lower down the order, even at number 11. Whereas, Anju Jain opened the innings and attacked.

Probably, the best Indian wicket-keeper batter I’ve ever seen. 

In a career that spanned 12 years (1993-2005), Jain played eight Test matches and 65 One-Day Internationals. She kept wicket and opened the batting for almost her entire career, and served as captain for a brief period too. With 81 dismissals, she holds the Indian record for most dismissals by a wicketkeeper in ODIs as well. She played four consecutive world cup which only a few cricketers have done. 

Anju received the Arjuna Award in 2005 for her sporting achievements from then President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. 

After retirement, she got into coaching and is one of the best there too. Currently, she is the head coach of Asia Cup champions Bangladesh Women’s team which is doing incredibly well in the recent times. 

Happy Birthday, Anju Jain.