Shafali Verma Test debut
Shafali Verma

Shafali Verma continues to build her reputation as the next big thing in Indian cricket with a scintillating inning on the Test debut. The 17-year-old smashed 96 runs in the ongoing one-off Test against England in Bristol, providing India a solid start.

Shafali Verma misses Test debut century

Teenage sensation Shafali Verma, who registered the highest score by an Indian woman cricketer on Test debut here on Thursday, said she never thinks about her age and always prefers to adopt a confident approach while playing a big match or a series.

“Whenever I go to play in a big match or series, I always stay confident. I never count my age,” Verma, who missed a well-deserved century when she was holed out in the deep for 96 off Kate Cross, said in the virtual post-match media conference.

Verma started off in a defensive manner and then went on to her usual aggressive self as she hit a six-off Nat Sciver with remarkable ease.

“I just think about how to support my team and contribute in the best possible way,” she said.

Verma and her senior partner Smriti Mandhana also achieved another milestone by recording India’s highest opening partnership of 167 by going past the 153-run mark stand between Gargi Banerji and Sandhya Agarwal against Australia in Mumbai in 1984.

Asked about her bonding with Mandhana, Verma said: “We always back each other and understand each other. She always lends great support to me and guides me, it helps me a lot.”

“We were only discussing about building the partnership and staying on the crease, so that the team will get more support.

“We just played our natural game, hit the loose deliveries and kept on supporting each other. It’s about holding on to the crease,” she added.

Verma’s dismissal triggered a collapse for India as they lost five wickets for 16 runs to stare at follow-on, finishing day two at 187 for 5 in reply to England’s mammoth 396 for 9 declared.