A youngster who has shown her caliber within no time after making her debut is none other than Shafali Verma. The name first came in the limelight during a domestic match in the 2018-19 senior women’s T20 tournament where she smashed 128 off 56 balls against Nagaland. However, she didn’t let the focus go away from her and on the back of a successful domestic season.
Shafali was only in the fifth match of her young international career yet had broken a record held by a person she considers an idol (Sachin Tendulkar).
Given she comes from the state of Haryana where girls playing outdoor sports is looked down at, Shafali had little choice but to slug it out against boys in her early days. In her initial days, she played cricket with boys.
She admitted that doing so was a struggle at first but she soon learned to ‘give it back to them’ and credits that time has helped her develop her hard-hitting style.
Her focusing solely on cricket has worked wonders for her. Like her idol Tendulkar, she made her international debut extremely early in her career.
The 15-year-old struck a 78-ball 124 in a one-day match against Australia A last month in Brisbane, and that is when Leah Poulton became a fan.
“She’s just an amazing talent, she’s only 15 years old and she’s got so much power,” Poulton told cricket.com.au. “We’d seen a bit of footage leading in, she’s played a bit of cricket for India
“But when you watch footage of a player like that, it probably doesn’t do it justice because she’s actually got a really good presence at the crease. Even though she’s 15, she’s a tall girl, strong girl as well … when she walked out to bat, I thought, ‘that can’t be the 15-year-old’.
“She’s not your typical Indian opening bat,” Poulton said. “Over the years they’ve produced these opening bats with these amazing techniques and they’re really crafty, whereas she walked out there and she was just pure power.
“It was really good to watch, I did get into fan mode for a while there (during the century). She just had so much composure at the crease, she didn’t look fussed at all. She’s definitely going to be one to watch over the next few years.”
Her next mission would be to have a career just as lengthy and successful with the T20 WorldCup is round the corner.
An ardent cricket admirer who grew up watching a lot of cricket. She loves reading up articles for breakfast, prefers match discussions at lunch and finishes by analyzing games for dinner. A person who views sports as a metaphor of life.