Shafali Verma reveals how training with Haryana Men’s Team helped her improve her game

India T20I opener Shafali Verma came under the limelight after her terrific performance during the 2020 World Cup. She was the talk of the town back then, and she is the talk of the town even now, after her successful batting performance in the South Africa Tour of India 2021 T20I series. The way she batted so smoothly on the field, without any pressure is what caught the audience’s attention!


Shafali Verma regains Top Spot
Shafali Verma regains Top Spot in ICC Rankings. PC: ICC


While talking to ANI, Verma revealed how training with the boys of the Haryana Team before their Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament (SMAT) helped her gain additional time on the field.

“The reason behind the fast foot movement is the time I spent with the Haryana men’s team ahead of the Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. I cannot thank the Haryana Cricket Association enough for allowing me to train with the team. What it did was that it helped my decision-making power at the crease as I was facing fast bowlers who were touching close to the 140kph mark. So, I had that extra second to decide if I wanted to go back or play off the front foot when I played the T20I series,” she said.

When asked if it was difficult for her to adjust to the pace balls from the men, she said that it took her time to adapt to those conditions of the pace balls.

“Yes, initially it was difficult and I was getting hurried at the nets. But towards the end of the camp, I was middling the ball and that is when I knew that this worked. It was quite an experience to play with the men’s team and has put me in a position wherein I have benefitted immensely,” she added.

Probably what she quoted above was one of the reasons why she was able to hit fours and sixes on Shabnim Ismail’s balls!

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Thanking HCA for providing her with the required help during the pandemic, she said- “Yes, I did work on my fitness during the time away from the game due to lockdown. Here too, cannot thank the HCA enough. Every player was catered to individually. Our needs were looked into and even for things like dumbbells, HCA ensured every player had the equipment to train. At the top level, you need to be fit to perform.”

Talking about her great performances of 23, 47, and 60 in the three T20I games, she said that her aim is to keep raising the bar high.

“No resting on past laurels. Need to get to the next level and score a hundred. I must mention that the Indian team is a bundle of positive energy and the kind of motivation you get makes you excel further. But yes, I am looking to turn the 60s into hundreds,” said the 17-year-old power hitter.

Speaking about her non-selection in the ODI squad, she said – “My job is to bat. If I am not selected in some game, it means I lacked somewhere and I need to do better. There is and will be nothing more to this.”

Lastly, when asked about how she felt being on top of the ICC T20I Ranking table, she told ANI that her job was to win games for her country. “Every time I go out to bat, I want to win the game for my team. Be it for my state team or India, my job is to bat the opposition out of the game. Records definitely sound good and boost the morale after the game, but during the match, I only want to score runs,” she concluded.

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(Source: ANI; Credits: Baidurjo Bhose)

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Vaishnavi Iyer

I’m a Senior Masters student pursuing Journalism and Mass Communication. An all time Cricket enthusiast. I could never play the game but always loved watching it, and now writing about it!

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