Indian women's opening batter Smriti Mandhana has praised fellow opener and teenager Shafali Verma for her aggressive playing style and 'going all guns blazing' attitude in the ongoing Women's T20 World Cup 2020. Mandhana, who missed India's second match due to fever, will be available for their encounter against New Zealand on February 27.
Mandhana stated how Verma's onslaught from the other side helps her to build her own innings and keep rotating the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking. She revealed how she used to throw away good starts while trying to increase the run-rate, but now with Verma doing that job well enough from the other side, she gets more time to settle in and help Verma go through the initial few overs as well. Speaking to ICC, Mandhana said:
“Shafali has been a huge positive coming into the T20 side... The way she’s going about her batting, it’s so easy to bat alongside her... I used to score a lot of our runs in the last two of three years, especially in the Powerplay, but now with Shafali coming in, she’s getting the runs in the way I do. It makes the team more balanced."
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She stated that everyone in the Indian contingent backs Verma's aggressive batting and supports her even if she gets out early, adding that it is the teenager's instincts that guide her to play the 'Sehwag-brand' of cricket.
“She’s got a routine she likes to follow, and that’s the best thing about her. No-one has gone in and told her she has to change that."
Mandhana credited Verma's batting in helping India find the perfect balance in their line-up as she has the license to go hammer and tongs from the word go. For future matches, she stated that India will play as they have already been playing in the tournament -- without making too many complications or changes.
“I used to have a major role in Powerplays, but Shafali is getting the quick runs in those first overs now too. She’s made a huge impact and the team has become more balanced thanks to her."
“I don’t think we’ll be going into the game thinking about a total, but we will continue playing the way that is working for all of our batters.”Published 26 Feb 2020, 13:43 IST