Shafali Verma was just 15 years old when he made his debut for India in a T20 match against South Africa in 2019. The Rohtak player burst onto the international scene with stunning strokeplay. Three years later, he has learned to tone down that all-out aggression and play to the demands of the team. This is evident in the ongoing Sri Lanka series. An unbeaten, one-ball 71 in the second T20I at Pallekele is testament to her growing maturity.
“I watched my previous match and I noticed a deficiency in one department and that was taking singles rather than going after the bowlers. Now I take my time and play (more) carefully. I want to score big and stay at the wicket for maximum time in all formats,” said Verma in the final at Pallekele on Wednesday. said ahead of the ODI.
“I played for the Sydney Sixers in the middle order in the last WBBL. During that time, I realized that singles and doubles are also crucial,” said Verma. Smriti Mandhana is the top run-scorer in the ODI series with 106 runs after her half-century on Monday to accompany an unbroken 174-run opener to take a 2-0 lead. .
Verma is currently ranked fifth in the ICC T20 rankings. At 36, he has some way to go to climb the ODI rankings and this changed approach will help.
“In modern day cricket, especially in ODIs, it is very important to achieve a high level of fitness. Taking quick singles is also important. I have worked a lot on my fitness in recent months. Fielding is another aspect I am striving for,” he said. Verma is also learning to take responsibility after being selected as Haryana’s captain in the BCCI T20 domestic tournament.
She is now bowling off-break. When all-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur took over as ODI captain after Mithali Raj’s retirement, she stressed the importance of all players developing all-round skills to help the team.
“Harry (Harmanpreet) Didi has given good support as the lead. She supports my skills and told me to play my natural game. Our team has young players and he makes sure we all communicate and support each other. She likes to open up with the team. I tried bowling in the domestic tournament while playing for Haryana. Since then I have been bowling in the nets regularly. During the promotion of the match, I gained bowling and experience. Harry Didi wants us to explore and use all our skills in matches. Verma has played two Tests, 17 ODIs and 32 T20Is since his debut.
Verma and Mandhana have been successful openers for India. Verma said, “Playing with Smriti is great. We complement each other and enjoy our cricket. Our combination has been a success for the team and we look forward to building more partnerships.
South Africa will host the inaugural U-19 World Cup in January 2023. Verma turns 19 that month. “I am not eligible to play for the U-19 World Cup. My focus is on form and consistency ahead of the Commonwealth Games (T20 competition) in Birmingham and then the T20 World Cup,” he said. The World Cup will be held in South Africa in February 2023.