Fitness and playing longer innings are the main targets for Shafali Verma to earn her place in the 50-over format, the youngster said after powering India to a comprehensive nine-wicket win over South Africa in the third and final match in Lucknow on Tuesday.
The 17-year-old, who regained the world No 1 spot in the ICC T20I rankings on Tuesday, was named player of the series after knocks of 23, 47 and 60 on her comeback to international cricket.
There was some debate when the squads were announced for South Africa’s visit, with Verma’s name missing from the One-Day International contingent. The youngster is yet to make her debut in that format.
Asked if there was disappointment about her exclusion and if she sought out the reasoning from captains or the head coach, she said it was more a question of improving her game wherever it is lacking to make sure she earns her spot in the future.
“When I didn’t get a call-up for the ODIs I thought there might still be some weakness in my game that I need to address. But I didn’t go and ask anybody about it, neither the captain nor the coach, about my omission,” Verma said
“I made up my mind I will work more on my fitness and make sure to play according to the balls whenever I get an opportunity in the format. When my name didn’t come up for the one-dayers, I tried to keep my confidence up and motivated myself to play better so I can make it to the 50-over team as well. I was not disappointed, I just made sure I focused on working harder.”
Verma’s blistering innings of 60 on Tuesday was laced with 58 runs off boundaries. Asked to talk about her innings, she said it was just a matter of giving her best in what is going to be her last match for a while.
“When I went in to bat, I wanted to make sure I bat well because this is the last match for me. There is some time before the next series, so I wanted to do my best and do well for the team and score well,” she added.
In the interaction, she also spoke about her preparations when away from the game and her approach to taking singles and doubles in an innings. Watch her press-conference here: