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We Need More Players Like Shafali Verma, Reveals Neetu David – Women’s Chief Selector

Former India player Neetu David, who has appointed as women’s chief selector recently, has said that the selection committee will focus on unearthing more talented youngsters like 16-year-old Shafali Verma. Verma came in the limelight after her swashbuckling knock in the domestic season. Since then, there was no looking back for her and soon she earned her maiden call-up for India.

Her big-hitting ability grabbed the eyeball soon and she impressed with the bat in the ICC T20 World Cup earlier this year. However, former India spinner said that the committee will focus to unearth talents like Shafali Verma – who has become a vital cog for India in the opening slot.

“The way cricket is being played, it is quick and for that, we need more players like Shafali. Earlier, the approach was different but now you see batters trying to be aggressive from the word go even in domestic cricket. We want to give an opportunity to those kinds of players,” Neetu David, who has taken over the responsibility from Hemlata Kala, said to PTI.

Notably, David holds the world record for best bowling figures in an innings in Test – 8 for 53 against England in Jamshedpur in 1995. She played 10 Tests where she claimed 41 wickets. She announced her retirement from international cricket in 2008.

However, their first assignment is going to pick three teams for the Women’s T20 Challenge, which will take place in UAE in November during the IPL play-offs. Meanwhile, it will certainly be a challenge to chose players as the cricketing activities were put on a halt since mid-March owing to the global pandemic novel COVID-19.

She also added that the team needs the experience of veteran campaigners like Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami. Even, they were expected to retire after the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2021, which has now been postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19.

“Nothing is permanent. Change is the rule of nature but experience counts a lot. Experience and youthful energy in the team is a good combination. Having said that, it is important to give youngsters an opportunity at the right time. Shafali got into the team at the right time and has done well for the country. There are a lot of young players who deserve that opportunity,” David added.

While talking about Mithali Raj and Jhulan’s future, she shared, “You can’t pressurise anyone into retirement. If they perform well they can surely continue. But retirement decision is ultimately theirs and with the kind of experience they have, they know very well when to take that decision.”

One of the most celebrated spinners of the country has also acknowledged that the pace department needs to increase as well. Meanwhile, she also opened up about India’s failure to win in big events. Notably, India reached the ODI World Cup final in 2017 but lost by 9 runs to England. They lost the ICC T20 World Cup final earlier this year against Australia too.

“Winning a world title is the ultimate goal. We will work on that and other areas where we are lacking. We will also talk about the big match temperament with the coach and captain but at the end of the day, it is their department. We have just been appointed, there is lots to learn about the current structure but will keep talking to them about all the issues that matter,” Neetu David concluded.



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