“From the first ball I had the intent”, says Jemimah Rodrigues

In match 13 of the ongoing 02 edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), Mumbai Indians faced off against Delhi Capitals, with Mumbai holding a strong 3-1 head-to-head record. Mumbai Indians led by Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss, opting to field first, however, witnessed a formidable start from Delhi, who posted 192/4, powered by Meg Lannings’s 54 runs off 38 balls and Jemimah Rodrigues’ splendid innings of 69 runs off 33 balls.

Mumbai’s chase stumbled early, losing wickets rapidly. Amanjot Kaur’s valiant 42 and contributions from Hayley Matthews’ 29 runs and Sajeevan Sajana’s 24 runs were insufficient as they fell short at 163/8. Delhi’s Jess Jonassen and Marizanne Kapp claimed 3 and 2 wickets respectively with the ball, securing a 29-run victory. Jemimah Rodrigues’ stellar performance earned her the Player of the Match accolade, putting Delhi Capitals at the top of the points table.

Post-match Jemimah Rodrigues, batter, Delhi Capitals, and Jhulan Goswami, mentor, bowling coach, Mumbai Indians addressed a press conference.

On crucial moments in the match, Jemimah Rodrigues emphasizes the importance of communication with her batting partners, particularly with players of great caliber like Meg Lanning and Marizanne Kapp. Rodrigues highlighted the exchange of insights regarding the situation, conditions, and the opposition’s strategy, which helped her build partnerships with both.

She mentioned, “I think if you know instinct tells you what they’re going to do sometimes so I was just going and trying and helping her out there.”

Rodrigues acknowledges the importance of playing for the team’s cause rather than focusing solely on personal milestones. She emphasized the significance of correct mindset and intention from the perspective of her innings.

She reflected, stating, “From the first ball I had the intent… I was timing the ball I think that intent was very important for me and it gets me going and gets my feet in good positions so I think, that really helped me.”

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Strategic timeouts serve as a crucial point for Rodrigues to recalibrate and prepare herself for the challenges ahead. Beyond physical warm-ups, Rodrigues values these breaks as opportunities to great up the match situation, understand the atmosphere, and stay mentally present.

She said, “I run so fast just to get myself warmed up… But then, yeah. We keep discussing how is it… And sometimes it is a good thing also that you get to go in and soak in the atmosphere.”

Reflecting on her recent performances, Rodrigues acknowledges the learning curve inherent in setbacks. She recounts instances where she deviates from her natural game in pursuit of external expectations. She continues to evolve as a cricketer, her emphasis on communication, adaptability, and self-belief serves as a testimony to her resilience and commitment to excellence on and off the field.

She mentioned, “I was trying to play something I was not… But I think, yeah, just coming back, I think I’ve spoken a lot to Arundhati, she helped me a lot…Then after that, Smriti messaged me, you know, just don’t try to be someone else, be a Jemimah and you’ll be fine. I spoke to my dad, and my dad was also like, you just play your game, just be positive and you know, just be you.”

Jhulan Goswami acknowledged the challenge of Meg Lanning’s innings, recognizing her as a quality cricketer. She emphasizes the importance of restricting Lanning early in her innings, as allowing her to settle and find gaps makes her formidable.

Goswami also reflects on missed opportunities, and eventually failing to capitalize on half chances. She mentioned, “I think our bowlers also bowl well in patches but unfortunately not able to take those half chances that is different today.”

Goswami commends Shabnim Ismail’s bowling, highlighting the importance of maintaining form and enjoyment in the game. She supports allowing Ismail to continue in her rhythm, highlighting the significance of hitting the right areas consistently.

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She stated, “I also don’t know if that was 130 plus or not but honestly speaking as long as she is bowling well and as long as she is hitting the right area and she is enjoying at this moment and let her continue with that”.

Reflecting on Jemimah Rodrigues’ batting prowess, Goswami praises her maturity and evolution as a cricketer. She admires Rodrigues’ ability to construct innings and improve her shot selection, noting her growth from a young player to a responsible performer. Goswami also appreciates Rodrigues’ eagerness to learn, finding inspiration in her approach to the game.

She said, “Jemi (Jemimah) is very down to earth and always try to learn new things so yeah it was good to see Jemi is batting so well in this competition so far”.

Goswami discusses the team’s approach to chasing, emphasizing the importance of playing natural cricket. She analyzes the match dynamics, highlighting the early loss of wickets as a setback. Goswami believes in the potential of the top order but acknowledges the team’s inability to capitalize on a good batting track.

She said, “They know the process. What is the actual process to win, Which template do you want to win ahead And honestly speaking, the top 5 batters, are quality cricketers. On a given day they are the match winner.”

Goswami concluded by acknowledging the role of scouting in identifying talent from domestic tournaments. She highlighted the significance of Indian players in maintaining team balance and praised the efforts of the Mumbai Indian’s management and scouting team in building promising cricketers. Goswami stresses the importance of nurturing domestic talent for the team’s success.

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