Australia A coach, Leah Poulton has found young sensation Shafali Verma as an “amazing talent” after she scored a blistering century in her first match on Australian soil. Her 78-ball 124 witnessed India A started their tour of Australia on a winning note.
“She’s just an amazing talent, she’s only 15 years old and she’s got so much power,” Poulton said to cricket.com.au. “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. Even though she’s 15, she’s a tall girl, a strong girl as well… when she walked out to bat, I thought, ‘that can’t be the 15-year-old’.”
Shafali Verma made her T20I debut against South Africa last year in September and has played nine T20Is so far with 222 runs in her name which came at a strike rate of over 140. During India’s recently concluded tour of the West Indies, she has scored two fifties – the first of which saw her become the youngest Indian (male or female) to score a half-century in international cricket. Moreover, she earned herself the player of the series award as well in the five-match series.
“She’s not your typical Indian opening bat. Over the years they’ve produced these opening bats with these amazing techniques and they’re really crafty, whereas she walked out there and she was just pure power,” Poulton shared.
With the T20 World Cup around the corner, Poulton said that the coach has become on a fan mode when Shafali Verma was thrashing the Australia A bowlers around the park and she also believed that the youngster will play an important role for India as well.
“It was really good to watch, I did get into fan mode for a while there (during the century). 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,” she concluded.