“Don’t try to be someone else, be you”, Jemimah Rodrigues reveals Smriti Mandhana’s message

Jemimah Rodrigues, the 23-year-old right-handed batter for Delhi Capitals, showcased an exceptional performance at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, breaking a dry spell by scoring an impressive fifty. Her fearless approach and expert execution of 360-degree shots played a pivotal role in guiding Delhi Capitals to a competitive total of 192 against Mumbai Indians. The franchise eventually secured a convincing 29-run victory in the match.

"Don't try to be someone else, be you", Jemimah Rodrigues reveals Smriti Mandhana's message
“Don’t try to be someone else, be you”, Jemimah Rodrigues reveals Smriti Mandhana’s message

Downplaying her achievement, Rodrigues credited her inspiration to none other than Virat Kohli, emphasizing the importance of all-round shot selection in the Women’s Premier League (WPL). Reflecting on her journey, she revealed her focus on power-hitting, learned from observing Kohli’s gameplay. Rodrigues expressed her admiration for Kohli’s ability to find gaps and run between the wickets, traits she aims to incorporate into her own style.

Acknowledging a recent struggle with her batting form in the tournament, Rodrigues admitted to getting carried away with a more aggressive batting approach, resulting in a dip in runs. However, she credited her teammates Arundhati Reddy, Laura Harris, and Smriti Mandhana for encouraging her to stick to her natural game, reinforcing the importance of individual strengths in cricket.

Quoting, Jemimah Rodrigues, “I’ve spoken a lot to Arundhati (Reddy). She helped me a lot as has Larris (Laura Harris). She is the one who came up to me and said, ‘You have such good hands, you maneuver the field so well. Just stick to that. That will help you.’ After that, Smriti (Mandhana) messaged me saying, ‘Don’t try to be someone else, be a Jemimah Rodrigues and you’ll be fine.'”

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Known for her ability to pick gaps, Rodrigues impressed with a stunning display, including smashing a four and a six in the 19th over against Mumbai Indians. Former India teammate and current Mumbai Indians bowling coach, Jhulan Goswami, praised Rodrigues’ maturity, improved shot selection, and eagerness to learn.

Despite being in an age bracket with power-hitters like Laura Wolvaardt and Hayley Matthews, Rodrigues distinguishes herself as a cricketer who relies on intelligence, timing, and placement rather than sheer power. Addressing recent criticism and poor scores, Rodrigues highlighted her continuous effort to improve and adapt to the dynamic nature of the game.

Surrounded by a supportive team, Rodrigues shared insights and advice with fellow batters during her innings, demonstrating a collaborative and encouraging team spirit. Her innings of 69 runs from 33 balls played a crucial role in Delhi Capitals reaching a competitive total.

Reflecting on the match and her innings, Rodrigues praised the Delhi pitch, stating that it suited her playing style. She emphasized the importance of staying low in her stance due to the lack of bounce, providing an advantage in timing the ball and hitting through the gaps.

As a product of the Mumbai cricketing nursery, Rodrigues has faced challenges and gained valuable experience in her six-year international career. Finding inspiration in players like Virat Kohli, she emphasizes the significance of staying true to one’s strengths and playing an authentic game.

In the context of the Mumbai vs. Delhi clash, Rodrigues, a Mumbaikar, led Delhi to victory in their first home game at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. The crowd’s jubilation and enthusiastic response showcased the impact of Rodrigues’ performance against the defending champions, Mumbai Indians.

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In conclusion, Jemimah Rodrigues’ remarkable innings not only broke her personal dry spell but also served as a testament to the importance of staying true to one’s strengths in the dynamic world of cricket. Her journey, marked by challenges and redemption, endears her to teammates and opponents alike, making her a valuable asset for Delhi Capitals.

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