Lucknow: Far from disappointed at being overlooked for ODIs despite her swashbuckling T20 show, India’s teenage batting sensation Shafali Verma says it motivates her to work harder as “deep down”, she knows there is “something” lacking in her game.
The 17-year-old was adjudged player of the series in the 1-2 T20 loss to South Africa in a series that ended here on Tuesday. Her 30-ball 60 in the final match was instrumental in giving India a consolation win.
However, her devastating T20 form, which has earned her the top position in the ICC rankings for the shortest format, has not been enough to get her a place in the ODI side, but she is not complaining.
“When I wasn’t picked for the one-dayers, I felt somewhere I might be lacking something,” Verma said in an online press conference after the match.
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“But I did not go ask the captain or the coach, because I knew deep down that if my name was not there, it is probably because I only lack something,” she added.
The Haryana-girl said she feels driven to become a better player every time she is left out of ODIs.
“…I need to work more on my fitness, and one-dayers would be my goal, whenever I get that chance. Not getting named in the one-day squad is a motivation for me to play even better,” she insisted.
“I wasn’t overly disappointed but I saw it as a huge motivating factor. I motivated myself to work even harder and play better,” she said.
Verma’s approach to the game is rather simple. The see-ball-hit-ball mantra has worked tremendously well for her and she said the aggression is a natural aspect of her batting.
“I always practice (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,” the big-hitting Shafali said.
And when she does make the ODI squad, Verma said, “The focus would be on spending as much time on the wicket as possible and score as many runs as I can.”
“No matter what position I get to play in, I will try to extend my innings for as long as possible and score well.”
On the number one spot in the ICC T20I rankings, she simply said, “I just try to do well and win matches for my team.”