Born on January 28th 2004 in Rohtak, Haryana, is current Test, ODI and T20 International player for India, Shafali Verma.
Shafali had only played T20 internationals when she arrived onto the stage in 2019/20 as an opening batter with a power game like no other. Now she is a two Test veteran and a key player for India’s ODI World Cup campaign. Following a quiet 2020, the year of 2021 was extremely busy.
There were question marks over this player’s technique. Could it stand closer scrutiny in ODI cricket and even more so when it comes to Test cricket. It is one thing being a power hitter in limited overs cricket, quite another galaxy far away with Test cricket. And yet, Shafali answered those questions with distinction.
A Test debut came in 2021 against England at Bristol. After England had amassed nearly 400 runs, Shafali opened the batting with Smriti Mandhana. All eyes on that technique but the seventeen year old looked like a veteran. She passed her half century in a 167 run stand with Mandhana, the highest opening stand for India in Test cricket. Shafali fell short of a century on debut by 4 runs, out for 96. She followed up with another half century in the second innings.
Two months later on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, Shafali gave the Aussie bowlers a taste of her batting skills when she scored 31 and 52 in her second Test match. With the increased interest in women’s Tests a few more nations might be on the receiving end of that bat of hers.