Harmanpreet Kaur backs Jemimah Rodrigues to come good ahead of T20I series

Harmanpreet Kaur © Getty Images

India T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur has backed Jemimah Rodrigues ahead of the final leg of the multi-format series against Australia that starts on Thursday (October 06).

Kaur supported the 21-year-old, who was in the sensational form playing for the Northern Superchargers in the inaugural edition of The Hundred, saying that the team management have ‘high hopes’ from the youngster. “Jemimah Rodrigues played really good cricket in The Hundred,” Kaur said while interacting with media ahead of the T20I series on Wednesday (October 6).

“Her individual performance was quite good and she played the role perfectly for her side. We have high hopes for her. When someone is in good form, the team has high expectations. We wish the form she showed in The Hundred, the same she has for us in the T20I series against Australia.”

The T20I skipper missed out on the ODI leg and the Pink-ball Test due to a thumb injury she sustained before the series. Kaur believes she learned a lot of lessons sitting on the sidelines while recovering from her injury.

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“Earlier, when I got injured, it was difficult. I was always involved in the game, but this time I learnt a lot sitting on the sidelines. I am quite better now, I have confidence and I am hitting the ball well in the nets. I missed the ODI series and Test because I was not fit and it was hampering my fielding. But I am perfectly fine now, I have a lot of cricket coming up so I am excited.”

India were comprehensively beaten by the dominant South African unit in their first series after a hiatus due to Covid-19 Pandemic. The multi-format series against England was decided in the final match, but India fell short on that occasion. Speaking about the previous performances, Kaur admitted that there was a little rustiness in the side, but she is looking forward to the contest against Australia.

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“South Africa and England, we played after almost one year and we were building a new team. At that time, players take time to adjust but now we are in good shape. When you play after one year, there are things that can go up and down, right now, we are looking in a great frame of mind. We understand our game better. (Playing) back-to-back cricket makes things clear.”

Shikha Pandey had a great outing for India during the England tour. However, she is yet to play a match in the ongoing tour of Australia. When asked if the allrounder will start in the T20Is against Australia, Kaur said, Pandey had done very well for India and was unfortunate to miss out due to team requirements. She added that earlier India were putting the same playing XI on the field, but now the team management is looking at creating the pool of players to choose from.

With the multi-format series on the line, which Australia currently leads 6-4, Kaur said that they would have to go all guns blazing from the first T20I itself. “We now just want to go all out and win the series at any cost. These three matches are very important for us,” she concluded.

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