India vs England: Shafali Verma’s teenage dream goes on with debut Check fifties
India could have drawn their one-off girls’s Check away to England in Bristol on Saturday, however the match represented one other landmark for teenage batting sensation Shafali Verma.
The 17-year-old opener change into the primary Indian and the youngest lady from any nation to surpass fifty in each innings of her debut Check with scores of 96 and 63.
But it surely was the best way Verma, named participant of the match, made these runs that added to her popularity as one of many rising stars of girls’s cricket.
Previous to the Check, former India girls’s captain Diana Edulji described Verma as being within the “mould” of Virender Sehwag, as soon as a dashing India males’s opener.
However though already identified for her exploits within the white-ball sport, which have seen Verma signed by Birmingham Phoenix for this 12 months’s inaugural version of English home cricket’s The Hundred, she confirmed there was extra to her sport than big-hitting.
Blessed with good steadiness because of an uncomplicated method that sees her head over the ball, which in flip helps with taking part in her pictures as late as doable, Verma additionally demonstrated a maturity past her years in India’s first girls’s Check since 2014.
She began her innings within the model of a ‘conventional’ opener, respecting the brand new ball and choosing off any unfastened deliveries.
It was solely after tea that Verma actually went for her pictures — together with an outstanding lofted drive straight again over the top of England spearhead quick bowler Katherine Brunt –in a 152-ball innings that includes 13 fours and two sixes earlier than, in sight of a century, a mistimed stroke off Kate Cross was caught at mid-off.
Varma and fellow opener Smriti Mandhana — who herself made 78 — shared a stand of 167, the very best by India in a girls’s Check.
“Like every participant who will get out within the 90s, I used to be additionally upset,” mentioned Verma. “However subsequent time I cannot miss the hundred.”
In the meantime, 24-year-old left-hander Mandhana, who additionally opens with Verma in Twenty20 internationals, mentioned: “The way in which she modified her sport and the type of maturity she confirmed at this stage of her profession, it’s totally constructive for Indian cricket going ahead.
“Her pictures, in T20Is I’ve all the time watched them from the opposite finish. It is wonderful what she does. I hope she retains going the best way she is.”
Many inside girls’s cricket are detest to make comparisons to the lads’s sport for worry it will reinforce perceptions that feminine gamers are ‘irregular’ not directly.
Certainly the nine-year-old Verma as soon as reduce her hair quick so she might play cricket with the boys in her residence city of Rohtak within the conservative northern state of Haryana, the place girls will not be inspired to participate in sport.
Happily for Verma, her cricket-loving father Sanjeev was delighted by his daughter’s progress and their shared enthusiasm for the exploits of India legend Sachin Tendulkar.
However the poverty prompted when Sanjeev misplaced all his household’s cash to a conman meant Shafali needed to play with torn gloves and a damaged bat for a number of months.
However, she established herself in state cricket earlier than making an India debut in a T20 towards South Africa in 2019.
Her fifth outing noticed Verma change into the youngest Indian to attain a world half-century, a towards the West Indies — surpassing a 30-year-old file held by Tendulkar, who was 16 when he made his maiden Check fifty.
And her newest half-centuries counsel Verma now has arguably extra to fret about in deciding upon an endorsement deal than she ever did from faulty package.
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