'Take up the challenge and move ahead' - Jemimah Rodrigues reveals conversation with Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant

‘Take up the challenge and move ahead’ – Jemimah Rodrigues reveals conversation with Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant

"I am blessed to have spoken to them," said Rodrigues.

Jemimah Rodrigue (Photo by Jan Kruger-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

India’s star batter Jemimah Rodrigues revealed that speaking to Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant helped her build confidence after being dropped from the team. Rodrigues made a brilliant comeback into the international arena after being dropped from the team last year. Before facing Sri Lanka in the first T20I, she had last played an international game in October 2021, when the Indian team toured Australia for a multi-format series.

Rodrigues was at her best during England’s unique franchise game The Hundred, where she represented the Northern Superchargers and was among the leading top scorers of the tournament. She then went on to display her batting skills at the Women’s Big Bash League for the Melbourne Renegades. Even after such prolific performances, she was not named in the squad for the ICC Women’s World Cup, which made her return to the Indian side unclear.

Rodrigues made a remarkable comeback into the setup in the first T20I match against Sri Lanka at Dambulla on Thursday, June 23. While Indian batters struggled to score big, she kept her calm and scored an unbeaten 27-ball 36 to take her team to a decent total.

“My journey since the last Sri Lanka tour has not been smooth, it had its ups and downs. I have spoken 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. They told me I should take up the challenge and move ahead. I am blessed to have spoken to them,” she said in the post-match presentation.

I started preparing right after I was dropped: Jemimah Rodrigues

The 21-year-old said that she kept working hard to improve and earn her way back into the Indian side. She recalled how she started training and preparing for a comeback from the day she was dropped from the side.

“I have understood my game better in the four-five months, I have become calmer, I have changed, though my height remains the same. I started preparing right after I was dropped. This innings means a lot, I was nervous initially but the late cut boundary helped me a lot in easing things up. I am back in the side after 4-5 months or maybe more than that. I was pumped up,” she added.

The two teams will lock horns again on Saturday, June 25, for the second T20I of the three-match series as India look to carry their winning momentum.