For Jemimah Rodrigues, it’s all in the mind. The teenage batting prowess, who broke into the India’s women’s team earlier this year, has already set her sights on the T20 World Cup, to be held in the West Indies next month.
And for that, the Mumbai girl is training with boys at the MIG Cricket Club grounds to ensure that she is in perfect shape before the tournament. With the national side set to host a camp at the Cricket Club of India from Monday, Jemimah is looking forward to getting into the groove.
“It’s my first World Cup and it’s more of a mental preparation. I am working on it and even is training with the boys,” Jemimah said at the Annual Awards programme organised by the Sports Journalists’ Association of Mumbai (SJAM) on Thursday.
The 18-year-old was also conferred with the Women Cricketer of the Year award, while Prithvi Shaw was named the Cricketer of the Year. Jemimah, who has signed up for sports marketing firm, Baseline Ventures, also believes that hockey — a game which she also masters at — has helped her remain athletic. “One of the major things that hockey has given me is help (improve) fitness (level),” Jemimah said.
A big fan of Rohit Sharma, Jemimah idolises Smriti Mandhana’s batting style but when she made it to the national side for the first time, she was nervous. “The first day, I was nervous. I was supposed to meet Mithali (Raj) and Jhulan (Goswami), but gradually I gelled up well with them,” she said.
Before the South Africa tour, many people warned her of the bouncy tracks in the Protea land—which mostly helps the pacers.
But then, her fears were gone after she caught up with Sachin Tendulkar. “Sachin called me at his home and made me feel comfortable. He told me that the wickets in South Africa will be bouncy, but it’s all in the mind. He said, the ball comes nicely on to the bat.” Tendulkar also advised her to go with a positive mindset. “There are two things, to think positive or negative. I believe, it is important to go on a positive note,” the batswoman said.
While Jemimah hopes to make it count in the West Indies, she is not making any changes to her style of play. “I will just keep playing as I do,” the youngster said.
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR: Rahul Aware (wrestling)
SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR: Heena Sidhu and Tejaswini Sawant (shooting)
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR, INDIAN GAMES: Rishank Devadiga (Kabaddi)
JUNIOR SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR: Kisan Tadvi (athletics)
JUNIOR SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR: Durga Deore (athletics)
CRICKETER OF THE YEAR: Prithvi Shaw
RANJI TROPHY CRICKETER OF THE YEAR: Siddhesh Lad
WOMAN CRICKETER OF THE YEAR: Jemimah Rodrigues
JUNIOR CRICKETER OF THE YEAR: Yashasvi Jaiswal
TEAM OF THE YEAR: Maharashtra Kabaddi team
BEST CO-EDUCATIONAL SCHOOL OF THE YEAR: Jamnabai Narsee School, Vile Parle (West)
BEST BOYS’ SCHOOL OF THE YEAR: Don Bosco High School, Matunga
BEST GIRLS’ SCHOOL OF THE YEAR: The JB Petit High School for Girls, Fort
SJAM LIFETIME ACHIVEMENT AWARD
SS Narayan (Football/Basketball), Mary D’Souza (Athlectics), Murlikant Petkar (Paralympics), Ramakant Achrekar (Cricket).
SJAM FELICITATION OF SPORTS JOURNALISTS: Dara Pochkhanawalla, Hemendra Vyas, Shivram Sonawadekar