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Work Ongoing In Fielding To Keep Getting Better: Jemimah Rodrigues Ahead Of South Africa T20Is

India batter Jemimah Rodrigues said on Thursday that the team was focussing on improving its fielding, dubbing the department as a “game-changer”, ahead of the three-match Women’s T20I series against South Africa. “We have clarity in our plans across the three departments. The work is ongoing in fielding to keep getting better because it is one department that is a game-changer,” she said during the pre-match press conference ahead of the opening T20I against the Proteas in Chennai on Friday.

The 23-year-old’s fielding effort during the one-off Test against South Africa here was lauded when she took a diving catch in the second innings to get rid of Delmi Tucker.

She praised head coach Amol Muzumdar’s no-nonsense approach towards fitness and fielding.

“Since Amol sir has come, we have been hearing the same thing in every team meeting — fitness and fielding are non-negotiable. And, it is something we have specifically been working on,” she said.

“During the camp (at NCA), there were fitness sessions at 7am and then there were fielding sessions in the evening.

“In fielding, the Indian women’s cricket team is setting high standards. We will continue to do everything to maintain it. We will work hard and the results will come.” The three-match T20I series will be India’s final preparation before the Asia Cup (T20) and the T20 World Cup.

Jemimah also said the experience gained during the Women’s Premier League will come in handy during the World Cup.

“The best part about our team is that it has been a consistent team for a very long time, having played a lot of matches together. Also, having the WPL experience is a plus,” she added.

“The first WPL (in 2023) had quite a few inexperienced girls, but coming into this year’s WPL, playing on the low and turning pitches of Delhi, similar to Bangladesh, the girls will be taking in a lot of confidence heading into the World Cup.” The Women’s T20 World Cup is scheduled to be hosted in Bangladesh from October 3 to 20 October.

The wicket of Chepauk will be interesting to look out for, given how a belter was presented for the Test that saw both teams scoring over 600 runs.

Jemimah said India will have a clear plan for the T20I series here where they thrashed South Africa by 10 wickets to win the one-off Test recently after scoring 600-plus runs in the first innings “Who said Chennai is not high scoring? We got to score 500 runs in the opening day of the Test, which speaks a lot about the wicket here. We will assess the conditions and then go about it. Looking at the pitch today, it felt like a perfect wicket to bat on. However, we will never know till the ball is bowled.

Will look to play our most likely side for World Cup: Wolvaardt

South African skipper Laura Wolvaardt said that she would look to field her best playing XI during the T20 series against India, given that it was her team’s last opportunity before the World Cup to streamline things.

“Obviously, we will be looking to play the strongest XI we can. The team has plans leading up to the World Cup, be it bowling or batting options and nail down different combinations,” she said.

“We have tried some things and given youngsters opportunities in the last few T20I series. But for this tour, we will be looking to play our best side and the most likely side to be playing in the World Cup.

South Africa used plenty of spin options during the one-off Test against India and the skipper said the experiment with spin would continue in the series against India.

“It’s a good time to see if we could perhaps use more spin in the powerplay and the death. Although we generally bowl spin in the middle overs, it could be a good time to experiment with a couple of things.

“India will play a lot of spinners and will probably bowl spin throughout the innings. But, it all depends on the conditions that unfold, and how spin-friendly it’s out there,” she added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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