Shafali Verma captured the imagination of cricket folklore with his fearless stick and lavish running game at the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.
Shafali was one of India’s main spearheads to get to the top against future Australian champions at Melbourne Cricket Ground. But after this tournament, Shafali Verma had to wait another 377 days for another opportunity to represent the women in blue.
The pandemic and BCCI’s inability to resume cricket from Women International did not help her cause and the fact that the selection committee led by Neetu David overlooked her for the One Day International Series against the South -Africans on tour did not help his cause either. . And, naturally, Shafali was extremely disappointed that he hadn’t had the opportunity to break the cricket ball in cricket for over 50 years.
“It struck me, if I had not been selected in the ODI team, there had to be room for improvement. I was a little disappointed, but I knew I would have a chance in the T20s and I focused on that. I couldn’t wait to go there and translate a year of hard work and preparation into a good performance. While the ODIs were going on, I was with the team, training and learning different aspects of the game on the sidelines, ”Shafali Verma said in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times.
Shafali Verma, with her fearless approach and early skills, drew a billion eyeballs in the 2020 T20 World Cup. But during her absence from the match due to the Covid-imposed break, she did not lower her keeps and has instead worked hard to hone her skills and improve her physical and mental fitness. And, the Haryana Cricket Association [HCA] played an important role in its development.
“I worked really hard on my skills, physical and mental, after the T20 World Cup last year. There wasn’t a lot of cricket on the calendar, national or international. In addition, the defeat in the World Cup remained engraved in my mind. The Haryana Cricket Association (HCA) really took care of me. I had discussions with my trainer Ashwini Kumar and told him what I wanted to work on. The association gave me a physiologist and a nutritionist. I was working on my mental and physical well-being, aside from rigorous training in the nets. The counseling sessions helped overcome the World Cup loss, ”said Verma.
“ I also want to consolidate my place in the ODI ” – Shafali Verma
Shafali Verma finally got the chance to show off his compelling talent again in the T20I three-game series against the Proteas who followed the ODI Rubber scoring 23, 47 and 60.
Her 60 balls of 30 was not only a testament to her skills, but also the amount of hard work she put in during her time off the team.
“I miss my pizza and Doraemon. Now my diet includes more vegetables. I didn’t know much about these things before. But when you play internationally, you learn a lot from your seniors, and the fitness coaches are constantly working on your body. I found it very easy to score against South Africa because I had come with ideal preparation. I’m focusing on cricket right now, ”Shafali Verma said.
After India’s 1-4 defeat, ODI captain Mithali Raj had said Shafali would soon be integrated into the ODI setup.
And, Shafali is eager to add an extra dimension to her game in order to cement a permanent place in the 50+ squad.
“When you play a 50 overs game, you have to stay at the wicket longer and build a big end to have an impact. When I play T20s, the coach and captain give me the freedom to chase the bowlers and stick to my natural game. In ODIs, I want to focus on staying at the wicket as many overs as possible and building long runs. I’m not thinking about the World Cup at the moment, but I also want to consolidate my place in the ODI. she added.
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