Australia women’s A team coach Leah Poulton is all praises for 15-year-old Indian opener Shafali Verma. The coach said that the teenager has potential and spoke about her powerful batting techniques. “She’s just an amazing talent, she’s only 15 years old and she’s got so much power. She just had so much composure at the crease, she didn’t look fussed at all. She’s definitely going to be one to watch over the next few years,” Poulton told cricket.com.au.

Key Takeaways:

  • Australia women’s A team coach Leah Poulton is all praises for 15-year-old Indian opener Shafali Verma.
  • Shafali Verma became the youngest Indian cricketer to score a half-century in international cricket, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s 30-year-old record.
  • The 15-year-old also became the second-youngest player to score a half-century in T20I format — men or women

Playing for India A, women’s team, Verma batted a 78-ball 124 in a One-Day International match against Australia A last month in Brisbane. Recently, she created history by becoming the youngest Indian cricketer to score a half-century in international cricket, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s 30-year-old record.

“We’d seen a bit of footage leading in, she’s played a bit of cricket for India. But when you watch footage of a player like that, it probably doesn’t do it justice because she’s actually got a really good presence at the crease,” she added. After her debut in T20Is replacing  Mithali Raj as she announced retirement,  a few people from the industry thought her as just a young cricketer who would take time to blend in. To their surprise, Shafali surpassed Tendulkar’s record. Again, in the second T20I against West Indies, Shafali batted exceptionally and ensured a clinical run chase to help India take a 2-0 lead in the series. “Even though she’s 15, she’s a tall girl, strong girl as well. When she walked out to bat, I thought, ‘that can’t be the 15 year old.’ She’s not your typical Indian opening batswoman,” Poulton said.

The 15-year-old also became the second-youngest player to score a half-century in T20I format — men or women

READ: Mithali Raj To Write Her Memoir

Who is Shafali Verma?

Shafali is now one of the youngest players in the Indian cricket team. She hails from Rohtak and started her career only five years ago. In a short span, she has already played three seasons for Haryana. She was strategically chosen for the team because she can hit the ball hard and that is what the women’s T20 team needed.

Verma first came into limelight in the 2018-19 during the Inter-State Women’s T20 tournament where she hammered 128 off 56 balls against Nagaland. She also impressed the selectors when she made 34 off 31 balls in the Women’s T20 Challenge in Jaipur earlier this year. She smashed a 34 as an opener against Smriti Mandhana-led Trailblazers.

“I was expecting this call-up to be honest. I had done well in domestic cricket and also in that big tournament in Jaipur. The recent camp at NCA also went well for me. So, yes, I was hopeful,” The Haryana batter said who learnt the ropes at an academy in Rohtak.

“I was expecting this call-up to be honest. I had done well in domestic cricket and also in that big tournament in Jaipur. The recent camp at NCA also went well for me. So, yes, I was hopeful,”

She also earned a spot in the 25-member month-long NCA camp for the Senior Women’s side in Bengaluru in June  2019 and has now been fast-tracked to the national side.

Read More Stories By Ria Das

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