Mithali Raj, the Test captain of the Indian women’s team, believes Shafali Verma will be a significant member of the side in all formats of the game in the future, thanks to her outstanding debut.
The 17-year-old scored 63 in the second innings after smashing a stroke-filled 96 in the first, becoming the youngest woman and fourth overall to make two half-centuries in her debut Test, and was justifiably named player-of-the-match.
Following that, India salvaged a draw in the one-off Test against England, Mithali stated in a virtual media session, “She will be very, very important to the Indian batting unit in all formats. She beautifully adapted to this format. She didn’t go like how she would go bonkers in the T20 format. She played sensibly against the new ball and it’s great to have her.”
“She has a fantastic range of shots, and she can be very, very, effective in a format like this if she gets going,” Mithali remarked when asked what persuaded the Indian team management to give Verma a Test debut in England. We could see right away that if she got going, the score would be somewhere else. Mithali praised the young opener’s second-inning performance as superior to her first-inning total of 96, praising her maturity and composure.
In response to England’s first-innings score of 396 for 9, India, playing their first-ever Test in seven years, crumbled to 231 from 167 for no loss, thanks to Verma and Smriti Mandhana’s excellent start.
Following that, India suffered a familiar collapse after the fifties from Verma and Deepti Sharma, and they were on the verge of losing the match until debutants Sneh Rana (80 not out) and wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia (44 not out) frustrated the English bowlers to secure a thrilling draw in the final session.
Rana, making her first appearance for India in five years, was given a surprise debut, with Mithali claiming that the off-ability spinner’s to bat was the deciding factor.
With this draw, India extended their unbeaten streak over England women to 26 years, and Mithali predicted that the visitors’ great performance would put the hosts on the back foot heading into the restricted overs series. India will now play three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and as many Twenty-20 Internationals (T20Is) against England, with the first match taking place on June 27 in Delhi.