When the Indian girls staff’s batter, Shafali Verma, was coming into her teenagers, her father would take her and her older brother to a floor close to their home and interact in a contest that will see the three bat for a reward of Rs.5 or typically Rs.10.
Shafali, who received the Player of the Series award within the T20I collection towards South Africa on Tuesday regardless of India dropping the collection, performed some scintillating knocks within the collection. She hammered a 30-ball 60 on Tuesday night time to guide India to a comfort win.
“She learnt to play attacking cricket from an early age. One of the issues that helped her get into the attacking mould was a drill that we did collectively. I’d decide an odd time, after 11 am or so, and take her and my son Sahil to the bottom.
“I chose odd time to ensure there would be no crowd. Each of us would face six balls and whoever would hit most sixes or fours would get a reward of Rs.5 and sometimes Rs.10,” father Sanjeev Verma, who runs a jewelry store on Railway Road in Rohtak, instructed IANS.
“For a 12 or 13-year-old, Rs.5 or Rs.10 was great. This drill went on daily for about four months and the base of her big-hitting was set,” provides Verma.
When Shafali was only a nine-year-old, Verma had taken her to get admitted to the native Shri Ram Narain Academy, run by former Haryana coach Ashwani Kumar.
“We did not have money to enroll her back then. But when she started doing well in school games tournaments (School Games Federation of India-run events) and I realised that there was no future in that, I decided to enroll her as 12-year-old to Shri Ram Narain Academy. We had by then managed the money too. She never looked back and was supported by coach Ashwani and Ranbir Singh Mahendra [former BCCI president],” added Verma.
Ashwani Kumar says Shafali was all the time a hard-hitter.
“At the start when we saw her talent, when she was less than 12, we began making her practice with the boys — with the current Ranji Trophy players like medium-pacers Ashish Hooda, Sumit Kumar, Ajit Chahal, and off-spinner Amit Rana,” he says.
“She plays fearless cricket and has god-gifted talent. She has a good hand-eye coordination.”
Father Verma says that they realised pretty early that Shafali would succeed solely by hard-hitting. “We realised that if she hits big and hard, only then would she get through. So, we worked on that aspect,” he added.
During the lockdown final 12 months, it helped that the outdated tools like dumb-bells of Shafali’s father had been at house. “During lockdown she practiced with hanging ball and also did shadow practice. She ran up and down the staircase,” stated Verma.
Shafali was ignored for the ODIs and never picked within the Indian staff that misplaced the collection to South Africa girls 4-1 simply previous to the T20Is. The right-handed batter, nevertheless, says she must work on health.
“I need to work more on my fitness, and [getting picked for] one-day side would be my goal. Not getting named in the ODI squad is a motivation for me, really, to play even better and break into the side. I wasn’t too disappointed but I saw it as a huge motivating factor,” she stated after Tuesday’s match-winning innings in Lucknow.