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Anushka Sharma Shows Off Her Cricketing Skills For ‘Chakda Xpress’

Anushka Sharma is all set to play former India captain and fast bowler, Jhulan Goswami, in her upcoming Netflix biopic Chakda Xpress.

Anannya Chatterjee

It’s raining biopics in Bollywood, to be precise sports biopics. From MS Dhoni: The Untold Story to Azhar, Paan Singh Tomar to Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Dangal to Mary Kom and Soorma, the last decade has witnessed a slew of biopics on the big screen. While the year 2021 saw the release of legendary badminton player Saina Nehwal’s biopic Saina played by Parineeti Chopra, this year we were acquainted with the emotional journey of Indian cricketer Pravin Tambe in Kaun Pravin Tambe. Shreyas Talpade's portrayal of this former Rajasthan Royals leg-spinner made us aware of the incredible hardships of the cricketer who refused to give up on his dream. 

Now the year 2022 awaits the release of two of the biggest biopics on Indian women cricketers Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami. Taapsee Pannu will don the India blues as the Indian women’s cricket captain in Shabaash Mithu and Anushka Sharma will be seen in Chakda Xpress as one of the best women pacers the world has ever seen. 

Anushka is prepping hard to ace Jhulan Goswami on screen

Anushka is making her acting comeback after a hiatus of three years and is busy honing her cricket skills to live Goswami’s character on screen. Today, sharing a glimpse of her intense training session she wrote, “That's how the last few days have been! #prep #ChakdaXpress #GetSweatGo”. 

Goswami reacted to Anushka’s post with hearts, claps, and hugs emoticons. 

Who is Jhulan Goswami?

Credit: Instagram/Jhulan Goswami

Jhulan Goswami was born to a middle-class family in Chakdaha, West Bengal. Interestingly, as a child, Goswami was a football fan but after watching the 1992 Cricket World Cup, she developed a knack for cricket at the age of 15. She moved to Kolkata to play cricket at the cricket academy at Vivekananda Park. She made her international debut in a one-day match against England in Chennai in 2002. For the unversed, in the recently concluded Women’s World Cup 2022 match, Goswami created history by becoming the first-ever woman pacer to take 250 wickets in ODI cricket. Not just that, she is the highest wicket-taker in the Women's One Day International Cricket. She has also been honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2010 and Padma Shri Award in 2012. 

How Jhulan Goswami revolutionised women’s cricket in India

Earlier, actor Anushka Sharma had stressed how the biopic will be an eye-opener into the world of women’s cricket. She penned a long note lauding Goswami and how she inspired and propelled Indian women to take up cricket as a profession, “At a time when Jhulan decided to become a cricketer and make her country proud on the global stage, it was very tough for women to even think of playing the sport. This film is a dramatic retelling of several instances that shaped her life and also women’s cricket. We should all salute Jhulan and her teammates for revolutionising women’s cricket in India. It is their hard work, their passion and their undefeated mission to bring attention to women’s cricket that has turned things around for generations to come.”

Highlighting how Goswami has been instrumental in empowering Indian women, Anushka wrote, “Jhulan had an extremely uncertain cricketing career and she stayed motivated to make her country proud. She strived to change the stereotype that women can’t make a career out of playing cricket in India so that the next generation of girls had a better playing field. Her life is a living testimony that passion and perseverance triumph over any or all adversities and Chakda Xpress is the most definitive look into the not-so-rosy world of women’s cricket back then. (sic)”

“As a woman, I was proud to hear Jhulan’s story and it is an honour for me to try and bring her life to audiences and cricket lovers. As a cricketing nation, we have to give our women cricketers their due,” Anushka concluded. 

But then, like every other movie, Chakda Xpress teaser too had its own share of trolling. Netizens raised concerns over casting Anushka as Goswami and her forced Bengali accent. Many even slammed Bollywood for not casting actors with naturally dark skin and opting for temporarily darkening the skin to make the actors suit a particular character. Some suggested that a Bengali actress would do more justice to the role. 

However, what we can’t deny is the fact that Anushka is undergoing rigorous training to get into the skin of the character, “grip by grip” as one of her captions read. The film is all set to release on Feb 2, 2023. 

Photo: Instagram/Anushka Sharma
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