Shafali Verma, the young Indian opener, who is known for her great batting prowess, says she is making a conscious effort to improve her stroke turn to become a better cricketer. The 18-year-old slammed her 71st not out sprint, the best result of her career in the ODIs, in a 174-ongo partnership with Smriti Mandhana (94th not out) as India decimated the hosts with 10 wickets here on Monday, leading 2-0 In the three-game series.
The 18-year-old could not maintain consistency in her performance, especially in the over-50 form. “Having seen my previous matches, I thought I was lacking in singles participation, so I worked on that. I try to be better because I feel that taking singles is very important to build your roles in the ODIs,” said Chafali on the eve of the third and final round of the series.
“If it’s a good ball, it’s about taking the singles and taking turns. If I keep hitting the spin, the scoring limits are easy. I’m also working a lot on my fitness.” In the previous T20 series, Chavali failed to turn her start and was out for 31, 17 and 5 in the three matches.
But in the ODIs, she posted her first half century in shape since the match against South Africa at the World Cup in March. With a modest goal in sight, the duo focused on taking singles and duos as they continued to pile misery on the Lankan attack.
49 of her 71 runs came in singles and duos as she and her senior teammate slowly built the partnership before chasing her in 25.4 overs. “She (Smriti) supports me very well on and off the field, telling me my mistakes and where I can improve them. We enjoy talking to each other, and hopefully we can continue to do so, and form more of these partnerships.” India now has Harmanpreet Kaur leading the team in all forms following the retirement of Mithali Raj.
Shafali said that the new captain constantly supports young people. “Harmanpreet is very supportive of young people. We have a lot of young people on the team. She has developed a culture where we keep our contacts going, and we keep talking to each other. Yes, there is a good team culture now.” Shafali was also seen at a slow bowling alley in the series and said it was her captain’s idea. “I’ve always played in the net and recently got a chance to play in local cricket and got confidence from there. Harry Dee supported me too, it was her idea and she asked me to keep practicing in the net. I’m trying to work more on that,” she signed.