Sports

Shafali Verma, no method to madness?

Shafali Verma started off well in the 2022 Commonwealth Games but wasn’t able to make an impact when it mattered the most.

Repeating errors

Chasing 162 in the final of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, India needed their opening partnership of Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma to fire.

Things seemed to be going in India’s favour when Megan Schutt dropped a simple catch off Shafali Verma off the bowling of Ashleigh Gardner in the third over of the match. However, the Indian opener failed to make use of the opportunity as she played the same shot a couple of balls later and was caught in the deep.

As a result, she copped a lot of criticism for being reckless and not picking balls to attack in a match that was as important as they come.

An opportunity wasted

She did not have the best of starts in the 2022 ODI World Cup as well but came back strongly. Despite starting well in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, she could not end the tournament on a high.

“I am always ready for any kind situation I am thrown into. The coaches back me in the nets. They always encourage me and work with me on my strong points and lose points. They always make sure to speak to the out-of-form players and try to boost their confidence, which is a good thing. As a player, you derive a lot of confidence through such interactions. When I was out, I was going through a bad time. So I was focusing on my processes and when you go through such patches it’s important to work on your process. I worked on my mistakes, and tried to improve on a day-by-day basis, and I am doing that even now – physically, mentally and skills-wise,” Verma said.

“Every time we go out there to bat, our focus remains on building partnerships, supporting the other batters, and backing each other. Whatever happens, we try to back each other, and we want to do that as a batting unit through partnerships, too.”

Need to be more sensible

The batter will be the first one to realise that this is not domestic cricket, where you can hit every ball out of the park. These are international quality bowlers, and they deserve respect when bowling well.

That she can clear the boundary is great, but Shafali needs to pick and choose her areas and options to lend longevity to her international career.

Saksham Mishra

Justifying hours of watching sports by scribbling down a few logical lines that might just about hold your interest. Was not talented enough to make it as a professional cricketer, so the next best logical option was to enroll in a Mass Communication course, and write about sports instead. Because, what else is there to write about in this world, right?
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