Bristol [UK]: India opener Shafali Verma, who hit a gutsy 96 against England on Thursday, feels the knock will give her a lot of confidence in the upcoming games.
Shafali said the team backed her to play the natural game and that’s the reason she was able to play a valiant knock on her Test debut.
“The team management backed me to play my natural game and that’s why I was able to score. Obviously, if a batter gets out in 90s it feels bad but this 96-run knock will give me a lot of confidence in the coming games and I will try to convert it to a hundred,” said Shafali during a virtual press conference.
India openers Smriti Mandhana and 17-year-old Shafali scripted a stunning opening stand. The duo first brought up the 100-run stand and then registered India Women’s highest opening stand in Tests.
“I don’t count my age and always think of supporting my team with the bat and give my best for the team,” she said.
“I and Smriti talked about building the partnership and supported each other by playing the natural game. Our plan was to stay on the crease and hit the loose balls,” Shafali said while replying to a query from ANI.
Shafali also revealed the secret behind her big-hitting abilities.
“My father awarded me and my brother with 10-15 Rs on hitting big shots and I practised a lot of six-hitting. I have learned that patience and fitness are important in Test cricket,” said Shafali.
“I learn from every series I play. Like in my Test debut I have worked hard on my fitness and game and it feels nice to contribute to the team’s total,” she added.
England finished day two on top with five wickets in the final session despite a solid opening stand by the Indian openers. The visitors went to stumps at 187/5 with Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma unbeaten on four and zero respectively.
India were right on track to register a mammoth total but England struck late to snatch the driver’s seat as the visitors lost four wickets in last half an hour.
Punam Raut, skipper Mithali Raj, and Shikha Pandey all went cheaply as India wobbled at the end before the close of day’s play.