India batter Shafali Verma has jumped a mind-boggling 19 places to secure the No. 1 spot in the ICC batting rankings for women, becoming the youngest-ever to do so. Verma, 16, has been rewarded for some stunning batting that has seen her compile 485 runs from 18 games at an average of 28.42 with two half-centuries. Also Read - The Hundred: Shafali Verma, Teen Sensation, Becomes Fifth Indian Player to Get NOC, Joins Birmingham Phoenix
Verma has been in exemplary form in the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup having scored 161 runs from four innings. This included impressive knocks of 47 against Sri Lanka and 46 against New Zealand, which helped her become only the second India batter after Mithali Raj to top the Women’s T20I batting rankings. Also Read - Pakistan Stars Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman Nominated For ICC Player of The Month
Verma takes over from New Zealand’s Suzie Bates, who had been the top batter since October 2018 after wresting the spot from West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor. Also Read - Babar Azam Dethrones Virat Kohli to Become No.1 Ranked Batsman in ICC ODI Rankings
Verma’s knocks has earner her praises from the greats of the game including former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee. As per Lee, Verma is a force to reckon with remains one of the factors that makes India unstoppable in the T20 World Cup.
“Shafali Verma has been excellent at the top of the order, she’s brought a fearless energy to India’s batting and been brilliant to watch. You feel she can go even bigger as well – she hasn’t reached 50 yet, which is both exciting for those watching and worrying for the bowlers!” he said.
England spinner Sophie Ecclestone is the new No. 1 bowler in the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings. Ecclestone, who took eight wickets in four matches including a best of three for seven against the West Indies, is the first England bowler to be number one since Anya Shrubsole in April 2016 and the first England spinner at the top since Danni Hazell in August 2015.
Some fine performances across teams saw a number of batters and bowlers move up the rankings including those who could not make it to the knockout-stage of the 10-team tournament.