Shafali Verma, the 17-year-old swashbuckling opening bat from India is likely to make her ODI debut against England on Sunday in the first of the three matches that will be played in the series. The number one T20 batter already had a wonderful outing during the test match that was played at Bristol between June 16 and June 19. The attacking right-hand bat scored 159 runs in the test match which included a stellar 96 in the first innings. With that innings, she showed that she can pace her innings well and adapt to the longest format of the game.
Having missed out in the South Africa series that was played in March this year, the child prodigy would be eyeing to make it big against England in the upcoming ODI series. There is seldom any doubt that she can take away the game from the opposition singlehandedly with her aggressive and sensible stroke play. Her both innings in the Test match made it quite evident that she has been given the license to play her natural game. Though on Sunday it is likely to be her first ODI, there will be no surprises that she will go for the attack right from ball one.
In her short but successful stint so far, the talented batter from Haryana has mustered 617 runs in 22 T20Is at an average of 29.38 and strike rate of 148.31. She also has three half-centuries to her name. The youngster played a pivotal role in India’s journey to the final in the ICC World T20 2020 as she was the leading run-getter for the Women in Blue and fifth overall as she went on to score 163 runs at an average of 32.60 and a strike rate of 158.25, the best strike rate in the tournament.
Can Shafali Verma carry her T20I and Test form to ODIs? Can India get that dashing ODI opener who can threaten the opposition bowling attack? Let’s find out whether the 17-year old get a chance on Sunday and if she does get to be a part of the playing XI, will she fire on all cylinders? If you are an Indian fan you certainly want to see her take on the England bowling, isn’t it?
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.