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Wanted to bat for full 50 overs: Jemimah Rodrigues

After smashing a double century, the Mumbai U-19 opener and captain relives her epic knock

With an unbeaten double century (202 off 163 balls) in Women’s Under 19 one-day match, Mumbai’s Jemimah Rodrigues made heads turn on November 5. The 17-year-old opener was also involved in a 300-run partnership for the second wicket with S Raut as she plundered runs off the Saurashtra attack.

Earlier in the tournament she had attacked the Gujarat U19 bowlers, scoring 178 off 142 balls to set-up the match for her team, but missed out on the double ton.

Discussing her innings, Rodrigues told bcci.tv, “Initially, my plan was to play the full fifty overs, which I had not done in the previous match. That was my target. I break down my targets. Normally what I do is I count my boundaries, if I have scored ten boundaries that means I have reached 50 that’s how I break down my innings.

“I basically play an attacking game. But yesterday it was important for me to stay and play full fifty overs for my team to win and do well,” she said while describing her batting.

Speaking about her partnership with S Raut, she said, “We are good friends so that helps us in our coordination. Also, we understand each other’s game really well.

Speaking about the Saurashtra attack, she said, “The attack was good. Initially, it was little difficult. There was bounce and movement and one of the pacers was bowling really well. So, our plan was to play that pacer out and get runs from the other end. Initially they were bowling pretty well. And we were playing on the merit of the ball.

Describing the moment she got to her double century, she said, “Raising the bat and helmet after the double century was a really good feeling. It was the first time I had scored a double century and that too in front of my parents which made it even better.”

Her father, Ivan, who has been working with her throughout said, “Against Gujarat, she had scored 178 after which I told her, ‘no problem this time you missed (200) in the next game you can make up for it. We don’t pressurize her. My advise to her is to play according to merit of the ball.

“She played a sensible innings here (against Saurashtra). An opener gets to play about 150 balls on an average, so she has to pace her innings, which she did well. Against Gujarat she got out hitting. She had to do that with few overs left. In this match, she got the last 40 runs mostly by rotating the strike and running twos and threes really hard. In between she got a boundary but all ground strokes. She accelerated the innings well after 100-104 few uppish shots and then accelerated her innings,” he added while reflecting on his daughter’s innings.

The youngster who started playing for Mumbai at the age of 12-and-half years says, “I started off as a medium-pacer then during one of the selection matches, I went in to bat at No 6 or 7 and got a good partnership. I hadn’t scored much (individually) but supported a senior player during the match. So, then the next match immediately I got promoted to one down (No 3) so from there it all began. Then we started working more on the batting too. She now bowls off-spin.

Rodrigues, starts her day with the gym training followed by practice. Her father says that the girl’s hockey training has helped her in cricket as well. “Like cricket, hockey too requires power, footwork, wrist power, stamina which has benefitted her cricket, especially the bending...the hockey training running on the shore, road-running and all those activities have helped her.”

Rodrigues, who also played basketball and football initially later, opted to play hockey and cricket competitively. Although, her focus is more on cricket, at this point, she still plays hockey whenever time permits.

A keen sportswoman, Rodrigues took to cricket by playing with her elder brothers. “She is enthusiastic about any game. Born to play; likes to play,” says Ivan. From playing alongside her brothers to playing club matches with boys’ teams has helped her develop her game. The guidance and support of coaches – Sanjay Gaitonde at the MCA, Prashant Shetty at the MIG club is helping the young cricketer, her father mentions.

The family shifted from Bhandup to Bandra when she was in the third standard for better access to facilities and grounds and from there on it has been a journey that the parents and the daughter have embarked upon together. “My parents were really happy, proud of me and were overwhelmed. All the hard work and sacrifices paid off. It was one of the best moments for them,” Rodrigues says while looking back on one of the best moments of her short career so far. She also thanks God. “Without Jesus Christ’s blessings, I couldn’t have done this,” she concludes. 

BCCI Staff

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Delving deep into Prashant Chopra’s maiden triple ton

Himachal opener and Head Coach Vikram Rathour reflect on the batsman’s marathon knock

Prashant Chopra’s unbeaten 271 on Day 1 (6th Oct) of the Ranji Trophy 2017-18 is the second most number of runs scored by a batsman on a single day in the history of the tournament. The Himachal opener followed it up by posting his maiden first-class triple century on his 25th birthday on Saturday. 

Speaking to bcci.tv about dual celebrations, Chopra said, “It feels good because you don’t always get a chance to give yourself a birthday gift.”

Reflecting on the 338-run knock which took a lot of patience and discipline, Chopra said, “Vikram Rathour sir is our coach this year. He has been talking to me. His message to me was to carry on (batting). At lunch (on Day 1) I was not out on 84. He told me, ‘I want to see your double hundred today.’ He told me to play normally and I followed his instructions. When I came back to the dressing room at Tea (Day 1) on 180 not out, he told me that he wanted a triple hundred from me from that situation.

Talking about his marathon knock, he added, “It required a lot of patience because when you are batting on 150-160 then your intentions are to hit over the top. But in this entire innings of 363 balls, I hit only two lofted shots and those were the two sixes that I hit. I have not played like this in my career so far; not playing the lofted shots. The first time I lofted the ball I was on 46 to get past 50 and that was a six and again I lofted the ball after going past 300,” Chopra said.

Elaborating further on setting targets for Chopra and helping him shape his innings, Vikram Rathour, who has joined Himachal as their Director of Cricket and head coach said, “Prashant bats in a flow and when he starts playing his shots, he overdoes it at times. He is an extremely talented player who, at times starts finding it too easy, so I was just giving him different challenges. I gave him a challenge to score runs with singles in a particular session. I asked him to if he can do that? In one session it was about not playing the pull shot as they were trying to set him up by bowling the short ball. So, I told him I want to see him not falling into that trap and it worked.”

Speaking about his batting after resuming on 271 on Day 2, Chopra said, “Their plan was to get me off the strike and not let me score runs by bowling a bit wide. So, they were attacking and they got two wickets in the first three overs. They wanted to get me off the strike and attack the other batsman. But I was okay with that. I had no intentions of hitting them. It was a fresh day. Though I was batting on 271, I was thinking that I was on 71 so I need to make the most of it and I was counting each and every run. Even after 300, I was thinking I was on zero.”

While Punjab tried to keep the opener in check, Ankush Bains helped ease the pressure off and maintained a steady flow of runs. Speaking about the partnership, Chopra said, “After losing two wickets in the morning, the pressure was on us again. He batted at No 6 instead of his usual opening spot. He came in and was hitting the ball well. He played really good shots and that helped me. I could actually take my time and didn’t have to worry as he maintained the flow of runs. What matters is that there are runs on the board and that helped.”

Speaking about his sparkling innings, Chopra said, “Initially, I was giving myself time. We had a discussion that we will bat first no matter what the wicket does. Once the openers survive the first hour, then it is about how the batsmen take it forward. After I passed fifty, I was in my zone because of the way I was hitting the ball. A few shots (that I played) even I didn’t believe how I played them. When I returned I got a compliment from Vikram sir that few of the shots were like what he had seen Virender Sehwag play and that was a confidence booster.”

Asked about the comparison that lifted his ward’s spirits, Rathour said, “I’ve seen some of Sehwag’s brilliant knocks in domestic and international cricket and this knock really reminded me of him. I have been around for more than 25 years now but never been in a game where 460 runs (459/2) were scored on the first day in a Ranji Trophy game. This was an outstanding innings that he played and against a good attack. All the three guys (Manpreet Grewal, Sandeep Sharma and Barinder Sran) have played for India. Some of the shots he played actually reminded me of Viru.

“I have just started working with the boys. I have joined HPCA as their Director about two months back. Chopra has always been a great stroke player and has lots of ability. The only thing I think he needs to work on is his control a bit more because he is always in a hurry when he bats. I am extremely happy for him as it is a great start for the season,” Rathour said about his ward.

Chopra, who has been listening keenly seemed to have imbibed the words of wisdom. While looking back on his momentous occasion the batsman said, “My aim before the season was to win Ranji Trophy for Himachal and it is my job to score runs. Definitely, I have started with a good knock but the whole season is there. I won’t be there for the next match as I will be playing for India ‘A’. But when I return, my aim will be to score as many runs as I can help my team win. Winning the Ranji Trophy is my main aim and hopefully, we can achieve it. I want to be consistent with my performance. Last season I was in the top three and I again want to be there in the top performers and show that I am consistent with my performance.” 

BCCI Staff

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