The 17-yr-previous opener turn into the primary Indian and the youngest lady from any nation to surpass fifty in each innings of her debut Test with scores of 96 and 63.
But it was the way in which Verma, named participant of the match, made these runs that added to her status as one of the rising stars of women’s cricket.
Prior to the Test, former India ladies’s captain Diana Edulji described Verma as being within the “mould” of Virender Sehwag, as soon as a dashing India males’s opener.
But though already identified for her exploits within the white-ball recreation, which have seen Verma signed by Birmingham Phoenix for this yr’s inaugural version of English home cricket’s The Hundred, she confirmed there was extra to her recreation than huge-hitting.
Blessed with good steadiness due to an uncomplicated approach that sees her head over the ball, which in flip helps with enjoying her pictures as late as doable, Verma additionally demonstrated a maturity past her years in India’s first ladies’s Test since 2014.
She began her innings within the type of a ‘conventional’ opener, respecting the brand new ball and selecting off any unfastened deliveries.
It was solely after tea that Verma actually went for her pictures — together with an outstanding lofted drive straight again over the pinnacle of England spearhead quick bowler Katherine Brunt –in a 152-ball innings that includes 13 fours and two sixes earlier than, in sight of a century, a mistimed stroke off Kate Cross was caught at mid-off.
Varma and fellow opener Smriti Mandhana — who herself made 78 — shared a stand of 167, the best by India in a ladies’s Test.
“Like any player who gets out in the 90s, I was also disappointed,” mentioned Verma. “But next time I will not miss the hundred.”
Meanwhile, 24-yr-previous left-hander Mandhana, who additionally opens with Verma in Twenty20 internationals, mentioned: “The way she changed her game and the kind of maturity she showed at this stage of her career, it’s very positive for Indian cricket going forward.
“Her pictures, in T20Is I’ve at all times watched them from the opposite finish. It’s wonderful what she does. I hope she retains going the way in which she is.”
Many within women’s cricket are loathe to make comparisons to the men’s game for fear this will reinforce perceptions that female players are ‘abnormal’ in some way.
Indeed the nine-year-old Verma once cut her hair short so she could play cricket with the boys in her home town of Rohtak in the conservative northern state of Haryana, where women are not encouraged to take part in sport.
Fortunately for Verma, her cricket-loving father Sanjeev was delighted by his daughter’s progress and their shared enthusiasm for the exploits of India legend Sachin Tendulkar.
But the poverty caused when Sanjeev lost all his family’s money to a conman meant Shafali had to play with torn gloves and a broken bat for several months.
Nevertheless, she established herself in state cricket before making an India debut in a T20 against South Africa in 2019.
Her fifth outing saw Verma become the youngest Indian to score an international half-century, a against the West Indies — surpassing a 30-year-old record held by Tendulkar, who was 16 when he made his maiden Test fifty.
And her latest half-centuries suggest Verma now has arguably more to worry about in deciding upon an endorsement deal than she ever did from defective kit.