Shafali Verma will play her fiftieth T20I when India squares off towards Australia on the Brabourne Stadium on Saturday. The visiting group enjoys a 2-1 lead within the five-match collection, and forward of a digital collection decider, Shafali revealed that she enjoys taking part in towards Australia essentially the most because it typically reminds her of the boys’s group.
“When I play against Australia, it feels like I’m playing against men, because their game is like that. If they see a small mistake that you are making, they will take advantage of it. So we have to be on top of our game against them,” Shafali stated on Friday.
“You can’t make mistakes against them. You have to play your best shots, which you are confident about. I learnt a lot while playing against Australia. I love playing against them. Aisa lagta hai ki ladkon ke sath hi khel rahe hain (it seems you are playing against a men’s team),” she stated.
After breaking into the Indian group in 2019, Shafali has thus far performed 13 T20Is towards the Aussies, amassing 283 runs, at a median of 21.76. While she has had good begins prior to now, her solely fifty (within the T20I format) towards Australia got here on Wednesday, when she scored 52 within the third match.
“When I hit a four (against the Aussies), I get boosted, and feel that I’ve improved as a player, because Australia is the best side (in women’s cricket). I’m always happy when I hit (boundaries) off the Australian (bowlers). I don’t get so much happiness when I hit boundaries against England or any other team,” the teenager stated with a smile.
During India’s 173-run chase towards Australia within the third ladies’s T20I, Shafali and captain Harmanpreet had solid a 73-run partnership in 54 balls for the third wicket. With the 2 high quality batters taking the Australian bowlers to the cleaners, there have been hopes of a turnaround.
But as strain mounted, Shafali regarded to drag a size ball away earlier than ending up providing a fairly straightforward catch to Ashleigh Gardner. Her dismissal was the turning level of the match. “We were playing well, but the situation was such that we had to take risks. We were 30 runs behind, and that situation demanded that you had to go for shots if there was a loose ball. That shot usually goes for six, but on that day, unfortunately I lost my wicket,” she stated.
India had managed to drag off an exciting win through Super Over in a high-scoring second T20I on the DY Patil Stadium final week, however Shafali acknowledged that the wicket at Brabourne Stadium is completely different to the one in Navi Mumbai. “This wicket is not similar to the one at the DY Patil Stadium. Bowlers are generating good swing on this wicket, but we really can’t give excuses. We are working on the singles under the guidance of the batting coach. Day by day, we are improving,” she stated.
While bowlers are working arduous and are ‘bowling on single stump’ to prepare for the essential recreation, the batters are working arduous beneath the watchful eyes of batting coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar. “He is very calm and he has been teaching me a lot of things and my interactions with him have helped immensely. The batters are also benefiting and we want to improve in each and every game. He provides us with his inputs that boost our confidence,” Shafali stated.
Asked if there may be any particular space that Kanitkar has requested her to deal with, Shafali responded, “Of course, he’s been telling me to focus on one thing. I’ve been working on my shot selection…”
When I hit a 4 (towards the Aussies), I get boosted, and really feel that I’ve improved as a participant, as a result of Australia is the most effective aspect (in ladies’s cricket). I’m at all times glad once I hit (boundaries) off the Australian (bowlers). I don’t get a lot happiness once I hit boundaries towards England or another group.
— Shafali Verma
Last 12 months, forward of the group’s tour of England, the then head coach Ramesh Powar had acknowledged that the world will see ‘a new Shafali soon’ because the then group administration determined to tweak her batting model a bit, however that transfer didn’t fairly work because the younger gun struggled to search out the rhythm. However, slowly, she appears to have gotten again her mojo.
“It was a challenging time last year. I learnt a lot. I asked my coach in my hometown (Rohtak) about what mistakes I was making, because your childhood coaches tend to look at your game more closely. I got some time (to work on my game), and he helped me a lot. My game has improved a lot, and I will look to get better day by day…
Those sessions with her local coach have worked well for Shafali, and she wants to get going in the remainder of the series before travelling to Bengaluru to join the India U-19 camp ahead of the T20 World Cup where she will lead the junior side.
Shelley heaps praise on Shafali
Shelley Nitschke, the head coach of Australia, also heaped praise on Shafali. “They (India) have got a couple of really exciting players. What Shafali said is true, when we play India, they certainly play to their potential and really challenge us. I think Shafali is the one we’ve seen grow over the years,” she stated.
“She (Shafali) is having a really good series, and we’ve all seen Richa Ghosh in this series too. It certainly bodes well for India in the future. It pushes our group as well, it challenges us. It’s exciting times and (we’re) looking forward to the (T20) World Cup…”