The selectors did not include Shafali Verma in the ODI squad for the series against South Africa. However, she earned a place in the T20I team and impressed everyone with her 30-ball 60 in the final game. Opening the hosts' innings, Verma smashed seven fours and five sixes to destroy the opposition bowling lineup.
In an interview with ANI on Friday (March 26), she explained how she could hit big shots off the pacers.
"The reason behind the fast foot movement is the time I spent with the Haryana men's team ahead of the Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. I cannot thank the Haryana Cricket Association enough for allowing me to train with the team. What it did was that it helped my decision-making power at the crease as I was facing fast bowlers who were touching close to the 140kph mark. So, I had that extra second to decide if I wanted to go back or play off the front foot when I played the T20I series," Shafali Verma said.
Before scoring a half-century in the final T20I, Verma had recorded scores of 23 and 47 in the first two games. The 17-year-old was the only batswoman to aggregate over 100 runs in the 3-match T20I series.
Former CSK star Mohit Sharma was one of the Haryana bowlers who helped Shafali Verma
Former IPL Purple Cap winner Mohit Sharma was one of the players who helped Verma master the art of playing well against pace bowlers. Sharma played for the Chennai Super Kings, the Punjab Kings, and the Delhi Capitals in the IPL. Hence, facing his deliveries would have helped Verma a lot.
Naming the Haryana bowlers who helped her during the practice sessions, Shafali added:
"We had some top quality bowlers in Mohit Sharma, Ashish Hooda, Ajeet Chahal, Sanjay Pahal and Aman Kumar among others."
Shafali Verma has risen to the number one position in the ICC T20I Rankings. It will be interesting to see if she can continue her form in the upcoming games.