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“I’ve played many finals and I’ve seen it all,” says a confident Shafali, a day before Finals

Shafali Verma, the batting sensation with extraordinary talent, will be chasing after the history in making as she marches on to lead India against England in the inaugural ICC U-19 Women’s T20 World Cup final on Sunday.
Despite their success on the world stage, India’s women’s cricket side has yet to take home a World Cup trophy at any level. The young batsman, who has played in two World Cups, one Olympic Games final, and the Commonwealth with the senior team, will be striving to bring the elusive trophy home.
All three times the seniors made it to the World Cup final, they came away with painful memories: in ODIs, they lost to Australia in the final by 98 runs in 2005, to England in the final by 9 runs in 2017, and in T20Is, they lost to Australia in the final by 85 runs in 2020.
The young player from Rohtak has participated in two World Cups across all competitions and has also seen another final disappointment when India settled for a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year.
But Shafali is determined to seize the chance this time.
Haan bahut finals khela hai (Yes, I’ve played many finals and I’ve seen it all),” on the eve of the final, Shafali remarked as she turned 19 on Saturday. ” It’s about going out there and enjoying the game. I’ve told the teammates ‘don’t stress, just give your 100 percent without thinking of it as the final. Just believe in yourself. It’s all past and that cannot be recreated. We are determined to bring the World Cup this time and are trying to improve day by day,” she added.
At age 16, Shafali Verma led India in runs scored during the 2020 senior T20 World Cup. At the age of 15, she had made history by appearing in a T20 International seven months earlier. Thus, when she attempted to go for a boundary but was caught behind by Alyssa Healy on the third delivery of an unsuccessful chase, it was simply viewed as a bad day for one of the most talented young cricketers.
Three years later, it shouldn’t be shocking to see her captain India in the inaugural U19 Women’s T20 World Cup final. However, Shafali’s journey since the 2020 World Cup hasn’t been as straightforward as many anticipated. Shafali had the chance to cherish her recollections of an ICC tournament on Sunday.
Shafali has had a mixed record with the senior team, scoring more than 2,000 runs in 74 games. The dynamic opener scored 487 runs at a strike rate above 146 in her first 19 T20I matches, the format in which she has appeared the most. This was done up till the 2020 final in Melbourne.
The strike rate decreased to 127.83 in the following 32 outings. She averages somewhat higher in ODIs than in the shortest format, but at the World Cup last year, she was benched for three straight games.
She had to lead the team for the Under-19 World Cup because she was the most seasoned player on the squad. With the cap of captaincy on the youngster’s head, Shafali’s side lost to Australia in the Super Six league stage after being bowled out for 87, which was their only defeat. Post that, India defeated New Zealand by eight wickets in the opening semi-final in Potchefstroom to secure their spot in the championship game.
Pounding on their road to the Finals, she quoted, ” We had nervous moments and couldn’t sleep, thinking about whether we could make the final or not… But we have learnt from the mistakes and here we are. Now we’re all very confident, clear of our roles. Everyone is enjoying each other’s company and staying normal, we are not thinking much. I may be senior to many of them, but I’ve told them ‘on the ground we all are equal’ it’s about keeping everyone comfortable.”
Shafali is personally following in his father’s footsteps, his dream. He recalled his father Sanjeev Verma’s prediction that he would one day win the World Cup. She noted, “He has always told me that ‘I am the best and one day I will win the World Cup’. He kept pushing me always and here I’m because of all his and my family’s sacrifices.”
India will play a tough England team that won all four of its matches to finish first in its Super Six group. They had a disastrous batting performance against Australia in the semi-finals, retiring for 99 in 19.5 overs. However, they mounted an outstanding bowling effort to limit Australia to 96 at 18.4.



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