Cricket: Might see different Shafali Verma in a month and half, says Ramesh Powar ahead of England tour

Written By: Subhayan Chakraborty WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jun 01, 2021, 08:30 PM(IST)

Cricket: Might see different Shafali Verma in a month and half, says Ramesh Powar ahead of England tour Photograph:( Agencies )

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All eyes will be on young batter Shafali Verma when India take the field in their tour of England where the Women in Blue are set to play one-off Test, three ODIs and as many T20Is. As India gear up to depart to the UK, the Indian women team’s head coach Ramesh Powar sounded optimistic of Shafali’s prospects in English conditions.

All eyes will be on young batter Shafali Verma when India take the field in their tour of England where the Women in Blue are set to play one-off Test, three ODIs and as many T20Is. As India gear up to depart to the UK, the Indian women team’s head coach Ramesh Powar sounded optimistic of Shafali’s prospects in English conditions.

Powar was central to India men’s batsman Prithvi Shaw’s turnaround as the youngster roared back to form in Vijay Hazare Trophy for Mumbai following a disappointing tour of Australia, where he was dropped from the playing XI due to poor run of form.

Shaw went hammer and tonk in the domestic circuit and regained his form and confidence to take the first half of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 by storm. He scored more than 800 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021 and then lit up the IPL 2021, scoring 308 runs in eight matches. 

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Might see a different Shafali Verma after a month and half: Ramesh Powar

Powar hopes to achieve something similar with Shafali, who was surprisingly not picked for the WODI series against South Africa earlier this year. Shafali had garnered eyeballs from all around the world following her exploits for India in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 wherein the youngster played some blistering knocks to help the Women in Blue reach the final.

“It depends on the way she handles the sessions of practice. We have done something great with Prithvi Shaw when he played the Vijay Hazare Trophy (for Mumbai). You can wait and watch, you might see a different Shafali Verma after a month and a half," Powar said on Tuesday.

However, Powar said that the Indian team will finalise the plans around the team combination upon reaching England and assessing the conditions.

"Every player in this tour will make a difference. Shafali is a special talent. We will explore the combinations that will help us win matches," the former Indian off-spinner said.

Powar had helped Mumbai to win the Vijay Hazare Trophy in his short-stint before taking the job of the Indian women’s head coach.

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Not an ideal world but looking at the bright side: Ramesh Powar

Meanwhile, India women’s team will hardly have any match practice before the England series and Powar accepted that it is not the ideal situation. However, the head coach said the mental aspect of the game can make a huge difference.

"It is a not ideal world, but we are looking at the bright side that we are playing cricket - Tests, ODIs and T20s. It's a long tour of 45 days. It is not physically possible to prepare, but mental make-up will make a huge difference."

This will be the first-ever Test match for most of the players and skipper Mithali Raj said that cricketers must enjoy the atmosphere and learn from the experience. Only seven members of the Indian squad have played Test cricket before. 

India women have so far played just 19 Tests while winning four of them. The Test against England women will be India's first since the one-off Test against South Africa in 2014/15 where the Mithali Raj-led outfit came victorious. India will further play their first-ever pink-ball Test against Australia later in the year. 

“It’s good to have Tests, whether it’s home or away. If there’s continuity it’s great because it helps players as well. Sometimes it's nice to go in without baggage, you just go in, play and enjoy the atmosphere,” Mithali said.

“It’s good to have the girls who are playing for the first time and the girls who have played in the past and share their experiences how it was back in 2014. But having back-to-back Test matches can give a lot of exposure to the current lot.”

Indian women’s team will depart for their tour of the UK on June 2 as they gear up to take on England in a one-off Test, three ODIs, and as many T20Is, starting June 16.

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