Shafali Verma: Know everything about this 16-year-old explosive opening batter with highest strike-rate in tournament

Avinash Sharma

New Delhi, Feb 26: Young India women's cricket team opener Shafali Verma in making a name for herself on the global stage, with her big-hitting exploits in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia.

The teenager, who is making her World Cup debut, picked up the Player of the Match award for her 39 runs against Bangladesh. In the opening game against favourites Australia, the Rohtak girl smashed a quick-fire 29 to give her team brisk start.

The diminutive Haryana-girl played under Mithali Raj for Team Velocity in the women's T20 challenge which was held during the IPL 2019. A few months later, she made her India debut on September 24 when she played against South Africa at home. She is the 64th player to make her T20I debut for India.

The youngster has a strike rate of 150-plus in the under-19 and under-23 category domestic events.

The hard-hitting opener smashed an impressive 124 from 78 deliveries in the first ODI against Australia A.

On November 9th 2019, Shafali broke cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar's long-standing record when she became the youngest Indian to slam a half-century in international cricket when she scored a belligerent 49-ball 73 against West Indies.

Shafali has scores of 29, 39, and 46 in the first three games in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia. The Haryana girl has so far amassed 114 runs in her debut WC.

The official T20 World Cup Twitter handle posted the stat and wrote, "Highest career strike rates in women's T20Is (min. 200 runs)--Shafali Verma - 438 runs at 147.97, Chloe Tryon - 722 runs at 138.31, Alyssa Healy - 1,875 runs at 129.66, the 16-year-old is top of the tree"

Her hard-hitting ability at the top of the order and big-hitting prowess is already earning her the tag of 'Lady Virender Sehwag'.

Impressed with her junior partner's impressive show in the tournament in the powerplays Smriti Mandhana said, "Shafali has been a huge positive coming into the T20 side. The way she's going about her batting, it's so easy to bat alongside her. I used to score a lot of our runs in the last two or three years, especially in the Powerplay, but now with Shafali coming in, she's getting the runs in the way I do. It makes the team more balanced."

"Shafali has been a huge positive coming into the T20 side. The way she's going about her batting, it's so easy to bat alongside her," she said on the eve of India's T20 World Cup group match against New Zealand.

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