Shafali Verma

Shafali Verma, at 16, endured her first setback in a major tournament. She had been among runs throughout the 2020 T20 World Cup but failed to keep nerves in the final at a jam-packed stadium in Melbourne.

Additionally, she also dropped Alyssa Healy early in the match. All this, plus the loss in final, saw Shafali Verma break down.

Smriti Mandhana puts her weight behind Shafali Verma

Shafali Verma, ICC Women World Cup 2020
Shafali Verma (Credits – Twitter)

At 16 when many still struggled to tie their laces or hit it out of the park in gully cricket, Shafali Verma displayed her prowess at a marquee tournament. The youngest to win a T20 World Cup player-of-the-match award, Verma, was comforted by senior player Smriti Mandhana after the loss in final.

Mandhana encouraged Verma by saying, at 16 she was not even half as good as her. She also believes the youngster to should be left alone and given time to introspect herself.

“Shafali and I were standing almost together when we were receiving our medals. She was in tears,” said Mandhana.

“I told her she had to be really proud of the kind of campaign she’d had. When I played my first World Cup at the age of 16, I couldn’t hit the ball 20 per cent of what she can hit.

“She has to be really proud of the way she played, but she was upset with the way she got out. 

“She’s thinking already how she can be better. She should be left alone, that’s the most I can tell her. 

“This is a time to introspect. Failure teaches you a lot more than success. The team needs to be left alone and think of how we can be better in the next few years.”

Shafali Verma at T20 World Cup

Pepsico, Shafali Verma, Brand Ambassador
Shafali Verma(Credits: BCCI)

At the back of her prolific run, Shafali Verma rose to become the top ranked batter in the shortest format of the game. Her cameos in the group stage of the tournament helped India maintain an unbeaten streak but she failed to get going in the final.

Verma, the Rohtak teenager, amassed 161 runs in the group stage of the tournament before adding only two runs in the final.

Her tally of runs helped her finish as the tournament’s fifth highest run-scorer.