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Can Shefali Verma fill-up the shoes of Mithali Raj in T20s?

Shefali is the youngest T20 debutant for India at the age of 15 yrs. Coming in the team just after the retirement of a Mithali Raj, can she establish her place in the team?

Anmol Banerjee
Last updated: 28.09.2019
Can Shefali Verma fill-up the shoes of Mithali Raj in T20s? | Sports Social Blog

Shefali Verma is an attacking opener, who started to play the game from the age of 8 yrs. It was her father's dream to see her play cricket for India as he could not due to family pressures. Her father and her brother have helped and supported her throughout. By the age of 13, she was part of Haryana's U-19 team. It is due to her exceptional domestic season and remarkable performance in the Women's T20 Challengers trophy, which made selectors to give her the senior team cap after the retirement of Mithali Raj from the shortest format of the game.


Shefali in her domestic season scored 1923 runs including six 100s and three 50s. In February this year, she scored 128 off 56 balls, which was the third-highest score in women's T20. She played for Haryana against Nagaland in the Indian Senior T20 competition. In Women's Challenger Trophy, she played from team Velocity. In a match against Trailblazers, she scored 34 runs off 31 balls to help her team win.


Her Velocity teammate and English all-rounder Danielle Wyatt said, "She is going to be a superstar for India probably in a year or so, I think she will break into the Indian team."


Former India captain Anjum Chopra said the T20 Women’s Challenger Trophy, which was held alongside the IPL this year, helped bring a talent like Shefali Verma to the forefront. In her words, “I know she had been doing well in the domestic circuit. But to see her play against quality bowlers of England, West Indies and New Zealand was a pretty sight", "If she can do that at 15, what would be she be at 21?"


In her first T20 match, against South Africa, she got out on a duck. Regardless she is still considered as a bright player. At such a young age, it would be difficult to fill Mithali Raj's shoes. While Shefali has just started, Mithali Raj has come a long way from debuting in 1999 at the age in 16 in ODIs for India to becoming a name synonymous to the game in the Indian household where women's cricket have rarely been seen. The experience of 13 year-long T20 career of Mithali Raj cannot be compared to anyone. Still, the fresh entrant's talent will bring new hopes and new energy to the team. Verma, under the guidance of Mithali Raj, who were team-mates during the Women's T20 Challenge, has definitely learned a lot. "I was just observing the seniors on and off the field. I learnt a lot. Mithali didi told me to be a bit patient and try to play 10-12 overs in a T20 game.", Shefali said.


As the T20 World Cup in Australia is around the corner. We hope her make a mark and along with the team brings the coveted trophy home. We can't wait to see her represent India in other formats too and make the country proud.

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