India batter Shafali Verma has had an impressive start to her international career. The teenager made her debut in 2019 against South Africa in T20Is and has gone to become one of the most destructive openers in world cricket. Verma was not afraid of the big stage either and was India’s best batter in the 20-20 World Cup in 2020, in which the team finished as runners-up.
However, the opener was found wanting on away tours of England and Australia in 2021, as the teams peppered her with short-pitched bowling. Although she managed to make half-centuries in her debut Test innings against England, the teenager faced difficulty whenever the bowlers bowled her short. Verma though is ready to improve and is now facing 200-250 balls from Under-25 men’s players.
She is currently at Shri Ram Narain Cricket Academy in Gurugam. Verma has completed two years in international cricket but says there is still scope for improvement. "It feels good that I have been able to complete two years in international cricket but there is a long way to go. I know the areas of my game I need to get better at and one of them is playing the short ball," Shafali told according to ESPN Cricinfo after being named a Hyundai brand ambassador. "The coaches have also told me to play as per the ball and I will continue to do that. I will never change my game."
In the two years at the international level, Verma has tried to avoid the short balls. It has not yielded her favorable results. In a bid to get better at playing short balls, the coaches at the academy are making her practice on cemented, normal, and astroturf wickets. "I won't back away that much going forward. You will see me shuffling around the crease a lot more and play as per the merit of the ball," Shafali, who is also working on her fitness, said.