Hitting over bowler’s head: 50 times a day is the secret behind Shafali Verma’s trademark shot
By: Reuters | Melbourne |

Published: March 7, 2020 1:09:03 pm


The 16-year-old has scored at a strike price of 161 – the highest by any frontline batswoman in the competitors – and her 9 sixes are additionally the most by anybody on this yr’s match.

India opener Shafali Verma dancing down the observe to hit again over the bowler’s head might look ridiculously easy but it surely is the results of practising the shot at the least 50 times a day, says the coach who nurtured the batting sensation.

Verma’s explosive batting has powered India to their maiden last in Twenty20 cricket’s largest match regardless of the extended run droughts of fellow opener Smriti Mandhana and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur.

The 16-year-old has scored at a strike price of 161 – the highest by any frontline batswoman in the competitors – and her 9 sixes are additionally the most by anybody on this yr’s match.

READ | Haryana Hurricane: Shafali Verma took T20 World Cup by storm

She has proven a explicit penchant to cost out and hit bowlers over their head, a shot she honed beneath coach Ashwani Kumar’s watchful eyes at the Shree Ram Narain Cricket Academy in Rohtak.

“We made her play every shot, including that, at least 50-times-a-day,” Kumar instructed Reuters by phone from the north Indian metropolis in Haryana. “This is how you build muscle memory. Obviously she was a natural striker of the ball. We didn’t overhaul her style, we just polished it.”

Verma is presently the high ranked Twenty20 batswoman, a exceptional rise for the daughter of a goldsmith who needed to minimize her hair and masquerade as a boy to get sufficient follow early in her profession.

Verma has sturdy arms and shoulders and boasts wonderful hand-eye coordination which leaves little margin of error for the bowlers.

“She was barely 12 when she enrolled but within months she started striking the ball so hard that we started fearing for the safety of other girls in that group,” Kumar mentioned.

“So we put her in the senior group and she then started practising with the boys.” Kumar’s academy has produced fairly a few firstclass cricketers and he acquired a few of them to bowl towards Verma.

One of them was Haryana fast Ashish Hooda, who was instantly struck by Verma’s expertise and fearlessness. “Being a Ranji Trophy-level player, you obviously don’t want to bowl fast and injure an academy kid,” medium pacer Hooda instructed Reuters.

“So I began with a short run-up and was surprised by her ball-striking. “Then I went full steam but she did not flinch and played quite a few shots. I knew she was special and will play for India one day, though could not imagine it would be so fast.”

READ | ICC Women’s T20 Rankings: Shafali Verma rises to top from 20th position

Verma has sturdy arms and shoulders and boasts wonderful hand-eye coordination which leaves little margin of error for the bowlers. “She is blessed with certain traits but one has to work hard to get the best out of them,” Kumar mentioned.

“To her credit, she is a fast learner and hard-worker. The only thing she probably needs is to mix more singles and doubles in her batting. “But she’s very young and will only grow better with experience.”

As for his recommendation to Verma forward of Sunday’s last towards defending champions Australia, Kumar mentioned he didn’t need to litter her thoughts.
“I just wished her well and asked her to follow whatever her captain and coach tell her.”

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