Teenage batting sensation Shafali Verma has made quite an impression on Australia vice-captain Rachael Haynes, who says the Indian batswoman has the X-factor and special plans will be in place for the 15-year-old at the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup.
Haynes, who has played 55 One-Day Internationals and 56 T20 Internationals for Australia besides five Tests, feels Verma is different from other players.
Haynes said having watched Verma from close quarters during India A’s series Down Under, they are now preparing ways to tackle the right-hander in the run-up to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup opener between India and Australia at Sydney on February 21.
“I watched her on the Gold Coast during the A series, she’s a player with a bit of X-factor, she’s a clean striker of the ball,” Haynes told cricket-com.au.
“We’ll sit down and have a look at her. It was nice in some respects that we got to see her play over in Australia, and I’m sure we’ll prepare well for it.”
Verma shot into the limelight when she broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record to become the youngest Indian to score an international half-century in November.
She was part of the India A squad that recently toured Australia. During the series, the hard-hitting opener smashed an impressive 124 from 78 deliveries in the first ODI against Australia A.
Even though India are third in the ICC T20 rankings behind England and leaders Australia, Haynes feels they will be a tough nut to crack in the World Cup.
“They’ve got a really strong team, they’re one of the best in the world at this format,” Haynes said.
“They’re going to be a really formidable opponent, a team who we’re going to prepare really well to play against, but I think our team is well and truly looking forward to the challenge,” she added.
(with PTI inputs)