Shafali & Sneh Take Contrasting Routes to a Memorable Test Debut

Breaking Into the Team

Shafali Verma first garnered attention when she finished as the highest run-scorer in the Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy 2020, with 189 runs from five appearances at 47.25. What shone through was her strike rate of 156.20.

The next highest strike rate among batters with over 100 runs was Priya Punia’s 116.67. It was quite obvious that India had been lacking a power-hitter and with the Women’s T20 World Cup coming up, they had unearthed a gem.

Verma hit the ball out of the park, both literally and figuratively, as she ended up being the leading run-scorer for India in the Women’s T20 World Cup with 163 runs from five matches at a strike rate of 158.25 – the highest in the competition by a fair margin. India’s ride to the final of the showpiece event owed credit to the explosive Haryana opener.

In what seems like a daft decision with the advantage of hindsight, India overlooked Verma in the home series against South Africa. But once she was picked for the England tour, the opener ensured that she left nothing to chance.

While 17-year-old Verma has been an out-and-out success, Rana, at 27, has had to take a different and circuitous route to reach her destination.

After having impressed in domestic cricket, Rana made her India debut in 2014, but a serious knee injury and lack of form pushed her to the sidelines. However, the all-rounder did not lose hope and kept putting in the hard yards. Alongside Mithali Raj, Rana guided Railways to the title in the Women’s Senior One Day Trophy 2020, claiming 18 wickets and blasting 160 runs at a strike rate of over 120.

Her performances did not go unnoticed as she earned a well-deserved call up for the England tour. Playing her first international match since February 2016, Rana showed she still has the requisites to be successful at the highest level.

Crime Today News | INDIA



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