Australia A coach Leah Poulton admitted that Shafali Verma made her “get into fan mode for a while" during India A’s recent tour, adding that the 15-year old is one to watch for the future.
Verma struck a 78-ball 124 in an unofficial one-day match against Australia A last month in Brisbane and that it was that knock that saw Poulton sit up and take notice.
“She’s just an amazing talent, she’s only 15 years old and she’s got so much power," Poulton told cricket.com.au. “We’d seen a bit of footage leading in, she’s played a bit of cricket for India.
“But when you watch footage of a player like that, it probably doesn’t do it justice because she’s actually got a really good presence at the crease. Even though she’s 15, she’s a tall girl, strong girl as well… when she walked out to bat, I thought, ‘that can’t be the 15-year-old’.”
Verma made her international debut in September 2019 and has thus far played in 9 T20Is. In November 2019, she broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record by becoming the youngest Indian batsman to score an international half-century.
Poulton believes it is Verma’s power game that sets her apart from other openers India has produced over the years.
“She’s not your typical Indian opening bat. Over the years they’ve produced these opening bats with these amazing techniques and they’re really crafty, whereas she walked out there and she was just pure power.
“It was really good to watch, I did get into fan mode for a while there (during the century). She just had so much composure at the crease, she didn’t look fussed at all. She’s definitely going to be one to watch over the next few years."