Jemimah Rodrigues in action. © ICC

Jemimah Rodrigues has shared the Indian dressing room with legends like Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami, both of whom are in the last stages of their careers. She said that the Women’s World Cup 2021 will be all the more important because of that, while also being amazed by the duo’s eagerness to get better even at this stage of their careers.

“The 2021 World Cup will be very very important for the entire team. Firstly, because it’s a World Cup. Secondly, because of Mithali di and Jhulu di (Jhulan Goswami),” Rodrigues told indiatoday.in.

“Both of them have been the ones who made sure women’s cricket is known in India. They are the ones who set the tone for women’s cricket in India. When they used to play, they made sure whatever sacrifices, struggles they went through, today all of us are enjoying the fruits of it. I think it’s going to be really important for all of us. I think we will give everything to help India lift the World Cup.”

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While India has done well to reach the semis and the finals in the last three ICC tournaments, that world title has eluded them. ‘Pressure’ is the key word when it comes to such situations, she admitted. India reached the final of the Women’s World Cup in 2017 under Raj’s captaincy while making it to the semis of the T20 World Cup in 2018 and the final in 2020 – both under Harmanpreet Kaur. Rodrigues said that there’s no secret formula to this and both the players are leaders in their own ways.

“Mithu di (Mithali) and Harry di (Harmanpreet) are both very successful captains. They are different in their own ways,” she said.

“Mithu di is more of a calm person as a captain and in general as well. Harry di has this personality of an aggressive captain. That’s what gets the best out of her. Both are different in their ways. I strongly believe that the best part about them is they sticking to what suits them best and not trying to be somebody else. That brings the best out of the team and out of them also.”

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Apart from sharing the dressing room with the older pros, Rodrigues had also spent time with the likes of Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh, both of whom are finding their feet in international cricket.

“Now, I am no longer the youngest member of the team. Sometimes, I do feel like a senior since we have both Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh who are just 16 years old,” said Rodrigues, who herself is only 19.

“But I don’t like to be called a senior but I do believe it’s my responsibility to guide them and help them. Those two people are very mature right now, but if they guidance and help, I am always there to help in any way possible.”