After sensational beginning, 16-year-old Shafali Verma needs to up the game, say experts – cricket

With her large-hitting prowess, a rarity in ladies’s cricket, 16-year-outdated Shafali Verma was certain to succeed at the highest degree. However, lots of enchancment is required for her to maintain the sensational six-month run she has loved since making her India debut, really feel her coach Ashwani Kumar and former India wicketkeeper Ajay Ratra, individuals who have tracked her nascent profession intently. Verma was 15 when she acquired her maiden nationwide call-up final September and thereafter, the consideration she acquired as a teenage sensation was anticipated.

In her, India acquired a a lot-wanted energy-hitter at the prime and fewer than six months later, she was in Australia, enjoying a pivotal position in guaranteeing the workforce’s maiden entry into the last of the T20 World Cup.

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“The women’s team probables had a camp at NCA in June-July and I was part of it as the wicket-keeping and fielding coach. After seeing Shafali comfortably bat against Jhulan Goswami (senior India pacer) in the nets, I was convinced that she would be playing for India soon. And that is what happened,” Ratra, who performed six Tests and 12 ODIs, advised PTI.

Besides Ratra, Verma’s strokeplay in the follow session additionally impressed India coach W V Raman. “Even he was of the opinion that she could go on to become a very important player for India,” recalled Ratra. It is barely honest to say that if it was not for Verma’s flying begins, India would have struggled to attain the last of the T20 World Cup as the large stars of the workforce failed to make an impression. Her solely failure got here in the last, leaving her in tears.

The Rohtak-born, who loves to play in the V, gained a plethora of followers round the world along with her six-hitting capability in the event, particularly the one which flies over the bowler’s head. There have been additionally fixed however pre-mature comparisons with the legendary Virender Sehwag. Seeing Verma take the better of the bowlers to the cleaners in Australia was hardly a surpise for her coach Ashwani Kumar, who runs the Shri Ram Narain Cricket Club in Rohtak.

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“When she came to me first as a little kid (11), I taught her the basic stance and after few days, she was comfortable hitting the big strokes. Then she started training with the girls four years elder to her and in six months’ times, she was practising with the U-14 boys. She never felt out of place,” recollected Ashwani, a former-first-class cricketer from Haryana.

“Fast forward it to now, she trains with the fellow academy cricketers (like Ashish Hooda) who have played Ranji Trophy,” he mentioned. Verma idolises the nice Sachin Tendulkar and Ashwani feels that’s one purpose why she developed a penchant for enjoying with a straight bat. Asked if he anticipated Verma turning into a family title at such a younger age, the coach mentioned: “I might be trustworthy right here. I didn’t have an thought about ladies’s cricket. I had simply seen her play for Haryana and I acquired an concept that she was meant for larger issues.

“Before she left for the World Cup, I used to be unsure how she would deal with the strain of an enormous occasion however she exceeded my expectations and did effectively all through. Having mentioned that, it’s only a begin for her and she or he is aware of that.” Former India captain Shantha Rangaswamy too is mightily impressed by Verma’s exhibiting in Australia but additionally picked out the areas of enchancment in her sport, primarily her health.

Both Ashwani and Ratra additionally really feel that Verma needs to enhance her agility, which might make her a greater runner between the wickets and a a lot improved fielder. “She only got back a couple of weeks ago and the lockdown happened. When things are back to normal, I would be talking to her about the importance of rotating the strike frequently and not just hitting the big shots. She also needs to work on reducing the number of dot balls,” mentioned Ashwani. The lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic has additionally prevented Verma from showing for her class 10 board exams.

Ashwani and Verma’s dad and mom usually are not certain if she’s going to get one other alternative to full her exams in the close to future. “She was very focussed on studies after coming back from Australia. But with the exams now postponed, you can’t be sure if she will have the time to appear for them later, considering the international playing schedule. But such is the life of a professional cricketer,” added the coach.

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