Shafali Verma claims top spot in ICC Women's T20I rankings for batters
- A remarkable feat by the 16-year-old Rohtak girl!
What's the story?
The 16-year-old, who made her T20I debut in September 2019 against South Africa, broke Sachin Tendulkar’s 30-year-old record when she became the youngest Indian cricketer to score a half-century in international cricket when she smashed a 49-ball 73 against West Indies at St. Lucia in November last year.
Verma, who was playing just her fifth T20I, achieved the feat at 15 years and 285 days, surpassing the cricketing legend, who scored his maiden Test fifty at 16 years and 214 days. Given her talent and aggressive style of play, the Rohtak girl was named in India's 2020 Women's T20 World Cup squad.
The heart of the matter
Shafali grabbed the headlines in the 2020 Women's T20 World Cup opener against defending champions and hosts Australia with her fearless strokeplay. The swashbuckling opener continued her impressive run for the Women in Blue in their next three group fixtures (against Bangladesh, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka) scoring quick-fire knocks of 39, 46, and 47 runs respectively.
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Meanwhile, the ICC has released the latest Women's T20I rankings. Among the batters, Shafali, who has played just 18 T20Is so far, has risen a remarkable 19 places to claim the top spot. Among the bowlers, England's 20-year-old slow left-arm-orthodox bowler Sophie Ecclestone has risen two places to top the bowling charts.
India will be facing England in the semi-finals on Thursday in a repeat of the 2018 T20 World Cup semi-final (which England won by eight wickets). The Harmanpreet Kaur-led Indian team are unbeaten so far in the tournament thus far and will be determined to break their semi-final jinx (2009, 2010, and 2018) and go all the way this time.Published 04 Mar 2020, 10:42 IST