Breaking Into the Team
Shafali Verma first garnered attention when she finished as the highest run-scorer in the Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy 2020, with 189 runs from five appearances at 47.25. What shone through was her strike rate of 156.20.
The next highest strike rate among batters with over 100 runs was Priya Punia’s 116.67. It was quite obvious that India had been lacking a power-hitter and with the Women’s T20 World Cup coming up, they had unearthed a gem.
Verma hit the ball out of the park, both literally and figuratively, as she ended up being the leading run-scorer for India in the Women’s T20 World Cup with 163 runs from five matches at a strike rate of 158.25 – the highest in the competition by a fair margin. India’s ride to the final of the showpiece event owed credit to the explosive Haryana opener.
In what seems like a daft decision with the advantage of hindsight, India overlooked Verma in the home series against South Africa. But once she was picked for the England…