“Sky is the limit for Shafali Verma” - Sanjay Bangar

Shafali Verma on her Test debut against England last week.
Shafali Verma on her Test debut against England last week.

Former India all-rounder Sanjay Bangar has lavished praise on young Indian opener, Shafali Verma, saying the youngster has a bright future and the 'sky is the limit for her'.

The 17-year-old Shafali Verma was among the debutants last week when the Indian Women's team played a Test match after seven long years. Playing hosts England in Bristol, the teenager impressed with knocks of 96 and 63. Her efforts helped India save the Test, and she walked away with the 'Player of the Match' award.

Praising the way she imposed herself on her opponents, Sanjay Bangar told a Star Sport's show:

"Her (Shafali Verma) future can only be bright, and the only way she's going to go from here is up, and the sky is the limit. Even though India play less Test matches, but this was a fantastic opportunity, and the way she approached the game was refreshing. She played with a fearless attitude and put the opposition on the back foot straightaway. This is very rare."

Sanjay Bangar has spent five years as the batting coach of the Indian men's team. He is currently an analyst and batting consultant for the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Parallels have been drawn between Shafali Verma's aggressive batting style and a certain Virender Sehwag's. The Indian batting legend recently praised the young girl's fearless approach to batting, through a tweet.

Shafali Verma's sensational start to her international career

Shafali Verma was even younger than her idol Sachin Tendulkar when she made her India debut.

At 15, she walked out to open against South African Women in Surat in September 2019. Though she failed to open her account in that game, a week later, she produced a stroke-filled 46. She hasn't looked back since and has emerged as one of the most exciting young players worldwide.

Shafali Verma was one of the stars for India in their 2020 T20 World Cup campaign in Australia, where the team finished runners-up to the hosts. In T20Is, she has 617 runs at an average of 29.38, striking at 148.3.

Shafali Verma's match tally of 159 runs in the Bristol Test is the third-highest by a Test debutant in women's cricket, after Australia's Michelle Goszko and England's Lesley Cooke.

Edited by Bhargav
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