Shafali Verma reveals how Haryana Men’s Ranji bowlers helped her tackle back-foot problems

Shafali Verma reveals how Haryana Men’s Ranji bowlers helped her tackle back-foot problems

Shafali recently earned maiden Test and ODI call-ups and will travel to England in the next couple of days with the women's team.

Shafali Verma
Shafali Verma. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

India women’s team opening batter, Shafali Verma, has said she improved her back-foot game after attending Haryana men’s team camp ahead of Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s this year. The 17-year-old added that she has been practising with wet synthetic balls to simulate overseas conditions.

The aggressive right-handed batter has risen the ranks in the Indian team and was recently even promoted to B grade from C grade in the annual contracts announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), soon after receiving her maiden Test and ODI call-up.

In a recent interaction with ESPNcricinfo, Verma revealed that she consulted pace bowler Harshal Patel, who started his IPL 2021 campaign with a five-wicket haul for Royal Challengers Bangalore, and spinner Rahul Tewatia on dealing with bouncers. She further credited Ranji camp for being able to develop and improve her game.

I benefitted a great deal from the Ranji camp: Shafali Verma

“I feel I benefitted a great deal from that Ranji camp,” said Shafali, who will travel to England in the next couple of days with the Indian women‘s team.

“My back-foot game was a bit weak earlier, but facing the Ranji bowlers, who would come in at around 140kph, has helped better my technique and confidence on that front.”

“I interacted with Harshal [Patel], who recently played in the IPL, Mohit [Sharma] bhaiya, Rahul Tewatia and picked their brains about dealing with the bouncer. They shared their inputs with me and so did their coach. He gave me his feedback on my batting. I am very grateful to everyone at the Haryana Cricket Association for the opportunity.”

“To simulate skiddy conditions [overseas], I have been training with wet synthetic balls, to allow them to skid more. I want to remain fit. That’s my primary goal because if I’m fit, I can carve out a long career for myself,” she added.

The Indian team will travel to England along with the men’s team in a charter flight, reaching on June 3. They play a one-off Test against England in Bristol (June 16-19) before playing three ODIs and three T20Is from June 27 to July 15. Notably, Shafali is likely to play for Sydney Sixers in Women’s Big Bash League T20 later this year.