Jemimah: Working on bat speed to hit big shots

Indian opener Jemimah Rodrigues is relishing the challenge of facing Australia in the opening match of the Women's T20 World Cup later this year.

Jemimah Rodrigues moved up three places to fourth position in the T20I batting rankings.   -  Getty Images

India opener Jemimah Rodrigues is working on increasing her bat speed, which, she hopes, will aid in hitting big shots in the upcoming Women’s T20 World Cup.

The lively 19-year-old is also striving to hone her backfoot skills ahead of the marquee event, starting in Australia next month.

“I’m working more on my back foot, developing my back foot more and trying to increase my bat speed. Because looking at my size, you can make out I don’t have that much strength to hit the sixes ... but I’ve been working on that for quite some time,” said Jemimah in ‘Road To The T20 World Cup’ podcast.

India takes on defending champion Australia in the opening game of the tournament in Sydney on February 21, and the youngster believes her side will have to be mentally strong against the host.

“I think when it comes to Australia, you got to be the best or you can’t play. That’s the kind of team they are. My favourite team to play against is also Australia. It’s more of a mind game than just skills,” Jemimah said.

Ahead of the World Cup, India is playing a tri-nation meet also featuring Australia and England from January 31.

“Aussies are naturally dominating and if you hold back a bit, they will sit on your head and not let you come up. So if you want to face them or do well against them, you got to bring your best game. You got to raise your standards,” she said.

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The right-hander is expecting a good turnout in Australia for the Indian team, which will help boost the side’s confidence.

“Wherever we go we get Indian followers and supporters so we never feel away from home. We will be expecting a lot of crowd and that will be a boost for us.

“We get pumped up when we see them cheering for us. It’s a different energy that comes out. There is a different kind of positivity to it.”

Jemimah, who will be playing her first World Cup, is looking forward to play in the final of the tournament, which will mark an important milestone in her life.

“As a young kid I have always dreamed about playing the World Cup and not just playing, but doing well. And that too in packed stadiums. And this hasn’t happened to me so far, I wasn’t there in the 2017 World Cup.

“I can’t put it in words, how important it will be for me to be a part of the Indian team that plays in a World Cup final. It’s quite exciting. I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.

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