Mumbai [India], Jan 24 (ANI): Mumbai's batswoman Jemimah Rodrigues, who is the youngest one to be named in Indian women's squad for the tour of South Africa, has said that her hard work of years has paid off.
The Mumbai Under-19 skipper earned her place in the women squad on the basis of notable innings in the Challenger Trophy and spectacular 163 runs in the Inter-State women's Under-19.
Talking to media, Rodrigues, 17, said, "Everyone has supported me really well and they have not made me feel like I am a new girl or the youngest one in the team. They have gelled up well with me. Yes, I am a bit nervous, but at the same time I am excited too".
Confident Rodrigues added, "I have been working really hard for many years. Even last year, I had good performances in the U-19. But in the senior level, I wasn't performing, so this time I was working even harder with my dad and my coaches, trying to improve on areas that I was failing in last year".
"I was preparing for the Challengers because I had my performances backing me up at the U-19 and the domestic tournaments. I knew that the Challengers would be important. If I did well there, I could get through to the Indian team, so that was my main goal", she said.
The Indian team will fly to South Africa to play a three-match ODI series which begins from February 5. The ODI series will be followed by a five-match T20I series, which begins on February 13.
Ahead of their South Africa tour, the women squad met legendary Sachin Tendulkar who gave them fine tips.
Rodrigues said, "Meeting Sachin sir was an awe moment for each one of us. I think he gave us a lot of confidence before the South Africa tour. Meeting him was a blessing for each one of us".
Asked about her chances of making into the playing XI and playing number, she said, "The selection will be the best for the team to win, so whatever the selectors, the captain and the coach decide, we will go with that. Wherever I get a chance I will be happy to play and perform there and do well for the team".
Rodrigues opined Indian women skipper Mithali Raj is her idol and she got a little nervous when she met her for the first time.
"The first time I got very nervous because I really look up to them. Mithali Raj is my idol in Indian cricket and seeing her batting and working so hard in the nets is an inspiration for me. The efforts, the commitment, the determination is amazing. I am looking forward to many more experiences with them", she said. (ANI)