Experienced India pacer, Shikha Pandey, on Monday said that the Indian team management has given Shafali Verma all the license to play fearless cricket as the flamboyant opener produced another stunning match-winning knock to set up a comfortable win against Bangladesh in the second game of women’s T20 World Cup.
Shafali Verma smashed a 17-ball 39, including four sixes, to take India to 142 for six before the bowlers did their job and restricted Bangladesh to 124 for 8 in their allotted 20 overs and win the match by 18 runs. Along with Verma, 19-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues also impressed with a 37-ball 34 and Pandey is confident they will do well in the future as well.
“We have not asked her (Verma) to change anything. She has been given free license to play her fearless brand of cricket,” Pandey said.
“She is amazing. At 16, I hadn’t even started training to become a cricketer. I’m very pleased to have such young fearless players in our team. It’s amazing to see them doing what they did for us.”
Shikha Pandey, who also impressed with the ball and took two wickets for 14 runs, said the likes of Verma has no “baggage”.
“There’s no baggage, that’s the biggest thing, and they express themselves so well in the team,” the pacer said.
“We thought we had a great score on the board to defend today because we believe in our bowling department. We knew it would be a tough target for them to reach.”
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur also said she was hopeful about opener Smriti Mandhana, who missed Monday’s match due to viral and expected to be fit for their next match against heavyweight New Zealand on Thursday.
“Hopefully. She is feeling better now, we do have two or three days and I hope she will recover well.”
However, Bangladesh’s top-scorer, Nigar Sultana also praised Shafali Verma for her stunning knock.
“Shafali Verma played absolutely brilliantly. But Murshida Khatun played very well with the bat for us she’s in good form nowadays,” Joty said.
“We missed some chances in the field and didn’t bowl well enough in the last five overs. We haven’t played many matches against top eight teams, but we’re a cricketing nation.”