India’s new batting sensation Shafali Verma has taken the side to the ICC T20 World Cup final earlier last month. She might be of 16 years of age, her batting didn’t feel that. Shafali played with the renowned players like Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana in the team. She left her mark and also became the number 1 batter in the T20 during the tournament as well. However, she shared that her journey has just begun.
While speaking to IANS, Verma said that the road ahead is not easy. She will look to face every challenge that comes her way in taking the women’s team to the new highs.
The Youngster on the ICC T20 World Cup Final
“Just didn’t go our way that day. But sports is all about winning and losing. There will be other opportunities that will go our way. What happened we cannot change, but what will happen is in our hands and we will not leave any stone unturned as we look to be the best in the business,” she said.
She has earned a lot of praise for her scintillating batting that won her applause from the present as well as former cricketers too but she said that the trophy would have felt much better. She scored 163 runs in 5 games at a strike-rate of 158.25.
“My job is to go out there and score runs and put India in an advantageous position. It obviously feels good when people appreciate your performance, but the trophy in the hand would have felt so much better,” she told.
However, India are currently under the 21-day lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Shafali Verma is looking to work on her fitness during this period as the Haryana Cricket Association has given the girls customised fitness routines.
“I have been working hard on my fitness and it helps that HCA has given us customised fitness charts keeping in mind the areas we need to work on. With us staying indoors at this point in time, the chart further helps as it has workouts planned in a way that we can easily do them at home and don’t need to go to a gym,” she revealed with a smile.
Moreover, HCA has organised a session with the sports-psychologist which the youngster felt is help amid this situation.
Shafali Verma on her time during lockdown
“At these times, a lot of negative thoughts can seep into the mind. But speaking to the sports psychologist helped a lot. The motivation has helped stay positive in these tough times,” she explained. “To be honest, the support of Ashwani sir (coach), HCA and Baseline Ventures has really helped. Signing up with them has helped relieve a lot of pressure off my father who has been an integral part of my journey.”
However, she also spoke about the Indian team where they don’t believe in any senior-junior divide and that certainly helps in mixing with the senior players.
“You know, there is nothing like seniors will speak and junior have to listen or things like those. It is a very relaxed atmosphere and in fact not just seniors like Harmanpreet Kaur or Smriti Mandhana, everyone is looking to push the other the extra mile. And we have a really amazing coach in W.V. Raman sir,” Shafali Verma shared.
“The best part about Raman sir is that he always has solutions ready and helps out whenever we are stuck. If there is an issue I am facing, I can always go up to him and get clarity on how to work my way out. He just has a brilliant mind and can easily instill confidence,” expressed the young sensation.
She also revealed her experience of opening the innings for India with another stunning batter Smriti Mandhana. She further added that it was all about playing one’s natural game.
“We would keep it simple. If there is a bad ball, it must be hit and there is no two ways about it. So, when I get a bad ball, I hit it and same works for her. And when we get a good ball, we try and steal a single out of it. Nothing beats staying true to your game. Trying to curb your natural instincts don’t work I feel,” she explained.
“Having won hearts with her performance in her maiden World T20, what is her next goal? For Shafali, the only goal is to win. “Win more games for India. I should be able to put India in a position of strength when I go out to bat. The goal will always be to contribute to India’s success,” Shafali Verma concluded.