It’s been just about six months since Shafali Verma made her international debut and already she has been drawing comparisons with the cricketing legends including the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. Also Read - Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Mary Kom Participate in Lights Off Challenge as Sporting Fraternity Unite in Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic by Lighting Candles, Lamps
At the age of 16, Shafali has already broken multiple records including that of the youngest Indian to hit an international fifty. When she took the field in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 final against Australia at the MCG, Shafali became the youngest ever to do so. Also Read - Asked MS Dhoni to Promote Himself During 2011 World Cup Final: Sachin Tendulkar
Her blistering starts when opening the innings laid the foundations of several Indian victories at the T20 World Cup. Also Read - Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar Feature in Wasim Jaffer's All-Time ODI XI
However, Shafali’s coach Ashwani Verma says comparing the teenager to legends is overwhelming and should be avoided. “I know this comparison is overwhelming but Shafali is Shafali. Let her be first Shafali rather than calling her lady Sehwag or lady Sachin of Indian cricket,” Kumar told The Times of India.
Shafali, who was instrumental in India’s unbeaten march to the T20 World Cup final, scored 161 runs at a splendid strike-rate of 161. However, she had a forgettable outing in the title clash dropping the catch of Meg Lanning in the very first over and then managing just two with the bat.
Australia went on to lift the title for a record-extending fifth time with a crushing win that left Shafali in tears.
Verma predicted Shafali will get over the heartbreak and will only get better with age. “Shafali is a fast learner and a hard worker. The only thing she probably needs is to mix more singles and doubles in her batting. But she’s very young and will only grow better with experience,” he said.
Explaining the reason behind Shafali’s success, Verma said, “Shafali is blessed with strong arms and shoulders and boasts excellent hand-eye coordination which leaves little margin of error for bowlers.”