Loved Playing Attacking Game Since I Learnt to Hold a Bat: Shafali

Her 60 on Tuesday came from just 30 balls and was studded with seven fours and five sixes.

2 min read
Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana during the 3rd T20I against South Africa. 

Aggressive batting is something that comes naturally to her said the world’s number one T20I batter Shafali Verma on Tuesday after helping India to an easy nine-wicket win over South Africa in the third and final match in Lucknow.

Shafali, who regained the number one spot in the ICC T20I batters rankings on Tuesday, was named player of the series as well after knocks of 23, 47 and 60.

“I always practise (power-hitting) and work hard on my batting. Ever since I started holding a bat, I have loved to play attackingly. That’s how it works for me,” Shafali said after the match.

Asked about regaining the number one spot in the ICC T20I rankings, she said, “I just try to do well and win matches for my team.”

Her 60 on Tuesday came from just 30 balls and was studded with seven fours and five sixes.

India, however, lost the three-match T20I series 1-2. They had also lost the preceding five-match ODI series 1-4.

India captain Smriti Mandhana credited the third match win to team effort.

“It was a good show overall. The bowlers did exceptionally well, and Shafali then just stole the show. This victory belongs to the bowlers,” Mandhana, who carried her bat with an unbeaten 48 off 28 balls, said.

Asked if toss, which India won on Tuesday, was too important, she said, “Definitely not. We were pretty much in the game yesterday (second match) till the very end.

“Yes, toss is important but can’t use that as an excuse. We lagged behind in the first two games, so I’m proud that we bounced back strong tonight. After losing the series, it needs a lot of motivation to play like we did tonight.”

She said Tuesday’s win was important for our future assignments.

South Africa captain Sune Luus said it was a “magical” tour as they could beat India on home turf.

“I don’t think anyone expected us to take two series wins home. So it’s a special moment for us irrespective of how we fared tonight. The management and players can be extremely proud. It’s been a magical tour,” she said.

“It’s important for youngsters to get opportunities. We aren’t always going to have our senior players around. So it’s important for these players to learn while they’re there.”

Luus lauded Shafali for her attacking cricket and predicted that the Indian youngster will become a legend of the game.

“When she (Shafali) plays like today, it’s very difficult to stop her. She is going to be a legend of the game.”

(With PTI Inputs)

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