Shafali used to practice every shot 50-times-a-day, says her coach
Indian teen prodigy Shafali Verma has been in sublime touch in the ICC Women's World Cup T20. Her explosive starts paved the way for India in the group stage fixtures. She is currently India's leading run-scorer in the tournament with 161 runs from four innings at a strike rate of 161. Shafali's childhood coach Ashwani Kumar revealed the mantra behind her impeccable stroke play.
According to Kumar, rigorous practice built her muscle power
"We made her play every shot, including that, at least 50-times-a-day. This is how you build muscle memory. Obviously she was a natural striker of the ball. We didn't overhaul her style, we just polished it," Kumar told Reuters.
Kumar talks about Shafali's incredible striking ability
Shafali's exception run in the tournament saw her rise to top of ICC Women's T20I Rankings. Her scores in the World Cup read as - 29, 39, 46, 47. "She was barely 12 when she enrolled but within months she started striking the ball so hard that we started fearing for the safety of other girls in that group," Kumar said.
Shafali has been a quick learner: Kumar
Verma believes despite having an excellent hand-eye coordination, Shafali needs to work on singles. "She is blessed with certain traits but one has to work hard to get the best out of them," Kumar said. He added, "To her credit, she is a fast learner and hard-worker. The only thing she probably needs is to mix more singles and doubles in her batting."
Shafali would want to replicate her performance in the final
India would feature in their first ever final of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup against Australia. They were unbeaten in the pre-playoff stage, having defeated Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. India will expect Shafali to get India off to a flying start alongside Smriti Mandhana. The iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground will host the final on March 8.