Words of encouragement from Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant lifted Jemimah Rodrigues’ spirit as she entered a difficult phase and worked on her comeback, which started right after she was dropped from India’s women’s squad. The cheerful cricketer feels blessed to have spoken to Rohit and Pant. Jemimah, who was not part of India’s World Cup squad in New Zealand, marked his return to international cricket with a vital 27-ball 36 not out to give India enough runs to defend during the first T20 International in Dambulla on Thursday.
“My journey since the last tour in Sri Lanka has not been easy, it has had ups and downs. I spoke to Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant, they told me these moments will define your career, they told me not to take it (being dropped from the squad before the World Cup) in a negative way,” Jemimah said in the post-match press conference.
“They told me I had to take the challenge and move on. I’m blessed to have spoken to them.” Arriving at number five, Rodrigues did not succumb to the pressure created by the Sri Lankan bowlers and scored crucial runs, hitting three fours and a six. India posted 138 for 6 and the visiting bowlers smothered the Sri Lankans to secure a convincing 34-point victory.
“I understood my game better over the four to five months, I became calmer, I changed even though my height remains the same,” Jemimah said.
“I started preparing right after I was dumped.” Coming into the middle at a crucial point in the innings, Jemimah said she was nervous at the start.
“This round means a lot, I was nervous at first but the late cut limit helped me a lot to make it easier. I’m back after 4-5 months or maybe more than that. I was pumped up block.” Asked about the pitch, she replied, “I don’t know, it’s more like the pitch where I stay in Mumbai. The pitches are similar so I’m used to playing in those conditions. I love this country, it’s a very beautiful country. It’s a privilege to come here and the love we get from the board is amazing.”
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