India batters Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur join Melbourne Renegades

There are now six Indian players signed up for WBBL which starts next month

Annesha Ghosh
Annesha Ghosh
Jemimah Rodrigues in action, India women vs Bangladesh women, Women's T20 World Cup, Perth, February 24, 2020

Jemimah Rodrigues could be vital addition to Renegades' top order  •  ICC via Getty

India batter Jemimah Rodrigues has signed with Melbourne Renegades for her maiden stint at the WBBL and will be joined at the club by team-mate Harmanpreet Kaur.
Harmanpreet, who missed the recent ODI series against Australia due to injury, produced the iconic unbeaten 171 in the semi-final of the 2017 World Cup and has previous played for Sydney Thunder.
They take the Indian tally to six for the seventh season of the WBBL, with the recruitment of Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma (Sydney Thunder) and Shafali Verma and Radha Yadav (Sydney Sixers) announced earlier in the week. ESPNcricinfo understands at least one more Indian signing is yet to be made public by the clubs.
Rodrigues, who is part of India's squad for the ongoing multi-format tour of Australia, was the second-highest run-scorer at the Hundred in the UK, where she made 249 runs in seven innings at a strike rate of 150.90. Her form at the competition helped her overcome a disappointing run with India side against England as she played only two ODIs, making 8 and 4, and was dropped for the T20Is altogether.
In Australia, she didn't feature in the ODI leg of the tour and is likely to face stiff competition from Yastika Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur, and Punam Raut for a place in the XI of the pink-ball Test starting Thursday. She is, however, is expected to be in the reckoning for a return to the T20I side.
"I'm very excited to be here now and to be part of the Renegades," Rodrigues said. "I think for me, the main goal over here will be just to pull back and play cricket, play some good cricket and enjoy what I'm doing. I know when I do that and when I'm in that headspace, I'm able to give it my best.
"The goal is whatever happens, I want to give it my 100 percent each and every time I'm on the field...I'm really looking forward to it and there's so much that I'm going to learn, I'm sure about that."
Renegades head coach Simon Helmot was hopeful Rodrigues, a top-order batter who can bowl offspin while adding high value as a fielder, can have a big impact on the side's campaign this season with them having finished seventh in the previous edition.
"Jemimah is an immensely talented young player, who is already making her mark on the world stage at 21," Helmot said. "She was superb recently in The Hundred over in the UK. Jemimah is a dynamic player who can score quickly and to all parts of the ground."
On the addition of Harmanpreet, he said: "Harmanpreet's record at international level over the past decade speaks for itself. She's a match-winner and can take the game away from the opposition in a heartbeat. We also see Harmanpreet being an important addition for our group with her experience and leadership."
Rodrigues and Harmanpreet completed Renegades' overseas signings alongside uncapped English allrounder Eve Jones also joined the club with their whole squad now locked in for what will be Sophie Molineux's first season as captain.
Squad Sophie Molineux (capt), Makinley Blows, Josie Dooley, Jess Duffin, Ellie Falconer, Holly Ferling, Poppy Gardner, Ella Hayward, Eve Jones, Harmanpreet Kaur, Carly Leeson, Rhiann O'Donnell, Jemimah Rodrigues, Georgia Wareham, Courtney Webb

Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha