Verma’s explosive batting has powered India to their maiden final in Twenty20 cricket’s biggest tournament despite the prolonged run droughts of fellow opener Smriti Mandhana and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur. The 16-year-old has scored at a strike rate of 161 – the highest by any frontline batswoman in the competition – and her nine sixes are also the most by anyone in this year’s tournament. She has shown a particular penchant to charge out and hit bowlers over their head, a shot she honed under coach Ashwani Kumar’s watchful eyes at the Shree Ram Narain Cricket Academy in Rohtak. “We made her play every shot, including that, at least 50-times-a-day,” Kumar told Reuters by telephone from the north Indian city in Haryana. “This is how you build muscle memory. Obviously she was a natural striker of the ball. We didn’t overhaul her style, we just polished it.” Verma is currently the top ranked Twenty20 batswoman, a remarkable rise for the daughter of a goldsmith who had to cut her hair and masquerade as a boy to get enough practice early in her career. “She was barely 12 when she enrolled but within months she started striking the ball so hard that… Read full this story
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