“I need to get better at playing the short ball,” says Shafali Verma

The young Indian opener Shafali Verma who has amazed women’s cricket with her exceptional performances in T20I since her debut two years back at just the age of 15, has made herself capable enough to realize the areas which made her struggle this year on the tour to England and Australia.

Making her ODI and Test debut in June this year on England tour, Verma became the youngest Indian to play all three formats of international cricket. However, the top position holder of ICC Women’s T20I Ranking last year, Verma hasn’t been able to respond well to the short balls on both tours.

Shafali Verma Test Records. PC: Getty Images
Shafali Verma Test Records. PC: Getty Images


As per reports, the big hitter Shafali has been working to get better against the rising ball at Shri Ram Narain Cricket Academy in Gurugram under her coach Ashwani Kumar and has been facing 200-250 balls from U-25 male players who can clock 125-130 kmph.

In an interview with PTI, Verma said, “It feels good that I have been able to complete two years in international cricket but there is a long way to go. I know the areas of my game I need to get better at and one of them is playing the short ball,”

“The coaches have also told me to play as per the ball and I will continue to do that. I will never change my game,”

Further adding “I won’t back away that much going forward. You will see me shuffling around the crease a lot more and play as per the merit of the ball,”

Shafali Verma smashed 96 Runs in 1st Innings against England. PC: Twitter
Shafali Verma smashed 96 Runs in 1st Innings against England. PC: Twitter


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Along with improving her short ball, Verma who had a dream test debut scoring 96 and 63 respectively in the two innings against England, has also been working towards her fitness.

Her coach also shared his opinion on her with PTI, he said “We must not forget that she is still 17. Her dream Test debut shows that she has got the required technique to succeed at the highest level.

“In the shorter formats, where there is scoreboard pressure, you need to be really quick with your thinking and that is where she needs to improve a bit. As she goes along playing for India, you will see her only getting better.”

The youngster who opens alongside Smriti Mandhana in what is known as one of the most destructive partnerships of Women’s Cricket is all praise for her senior.

“She is always backing me on and off the field, tells me to play my natural game and whenever I am struggling in the middle, she always helps me fix my flaws, she said.

“…if I am struggling against a particular bowler, she will tell me ‘take a single and give the strike to me. It is great that I have a batting partner like her.”

Verma also shared her plans for the 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup mentioning her desire to inspire more girls to take up the game and the approach of taking every game as a new one accompanied by a great learning opportunity.

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