Shafali Verma was in a bad mood.
India was trying to score runs in the Women’s T20 World Cup final on March 8, 2020, but she was out after the third ball. Even though she had the best tournament of her life and ended up with the most runs for India, India’s chances of beating Australia were almost over, and Shafali couldn’t calm down.
As soon as they died, the Covid-19 pandemic changed the world. Shafali has done the same thing three years later, right before the final of a different Women’s T20 World Cup, this time at the Under-19 level.
She turns 19 the day before the final of the tournament, for which she has been in many ways the face. With 74 international caps, she is by far the most experienced and well-known player among the 16 teams, but her selection has caused a lot of confusion. Was it important for India to pick her? Can they win if she’s not there?
At least two-time World Cup winner and coach Julia Price agreed with the choice of Shafali as captain for this tournament. “It’s great for her, the other players, and women’s cricket. Good thing she’s the most experienced player. She is learning how to manage players, be a captain, work with other people, make hard decisions, and maybe even pick players. These are all things she might not have to do on the senior team “Price was given. “This is a different way for her to watch and learn about the game.”
Shafali said that being captain has taken up more of her mind space than usual and taught her how important it is to be a good team player no matter who is in charge. “You get much more into the game, your mind is always working, and you’re always learning something new. I’m learning new things from everyone on this team, even the girls “What she said. “Every person in this room is listening. As a captain, it reminds me how important it is to listen to your captain. Whether you’re working with a bat or a ball, it’s easy to stop working when you’re done, but it’s important to keep your mind on the day’s plan. When you’re the captain, you have to think about a lot of things besides yourself.”
She knows a lot about putting together teams. From one game to the next, India has made six changes, and even after wins, their bowling attack has changed. “You now know why people often choose or drop someone. Since I’ve been here, I’ve learned that because I sit with the head coach, Nooshin Al Khadeer, every day to make these calls and decide who will play first “Shafali told us. “I’ve learned that if a player can’t figure out and do the job that was given to them, it could cost them their spot on the team, even if they can hit or bowl well. So, that was something.”
Shafali’s major job at this event is to score runs, perhaps even more so than at the senior level, since, as Price put it, “she’s the greatest player here, the strongest player on the team, and she needs to stand up and produce.”
She accomplished this in the first two games, scoring 45 and 78 runs against South Africa and the UAE, respectively. She has only scored 34 runs in four innings since then, which has served as a wake-up call. “It’s critical to remember that just because it’s a Women’s U-19 event doesn’t mean the bowling isn’t taken into consideration or that the quality is low. Players under the age of 19 run substantially faster than players on senior teams. So there is still a lot to learn at this level “She informed me. “It’s not like all of the bowlers in this league are slow. You must still put in a lot of effort to get your runs.”
Former Pakistani all-rounder Marina Iqbal believes that this instruction will also benefit Shafali ahead of the T20 World Cup for adults, which begins next month. “When she was sent off early in the game against Scotland, I could sense she was distraught, but she seems more at ease when she is sent off early with the senior team. She’ll learn how to build an innings better here with her type of game “Iqbal stated. “She doesn’t need to focus on technique because she has already played at the highest level. You want her to develop confidence and experience so she can return to international cricket and perform well.”
Shafali’s senior career has been a mixed bag. She has two 50-point performances in her last nine T20I innings, but she had only topped the 20-point mark four times in her first 18 innings. In addition, she has only bowled 11 times in 51 T20Is. She has bowled in every game but one at the U-19 World Cup, and she has made a difference when things have been rough. In the opening game, she took two crucial wickets against South Africa after their openers made a strong start. She took 1 for 7 in 4 overs against New Zealand in the semi-finals.
She hopes that this can be used in high school as well. “I’d never bowled before, and it’s so different from just being in the field,” she explained. “I’m looking forward to bowling today. My father used to make me bowl when I was a youngster because he thought I should know how to do everything. Harman di [Harmanpreet Kaur] got me back into bowling when I stepped up to the senior team. She told me she believed I could bowl at the world level. And that gives me confidence going into this tournament that, absolutely, I can control a game situation on my own.”
With Shafali in control, there is some hope that India may accomplish something spectacular this weekend, something she has been anticipating for three years. She had no concept what it was like to lose a World Cup final in 2020. She may not require one this time.
1000 Runs in ODIs: Kohli’s Cricket Legacy
On Thursday, November 2, Virat Kohli achieved an accomplishment. He became the batsman to surpass 1000 runs in ODIs in 2023, following in the footsteps of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma. Not that,. He also joined Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Pathum Nissanka as the fourth players to achieve this impressive record in the 50-over format within the same year.
Stepping into History with 1000 Runs in ODIs
Entering the realm of history, Kohli’s unwavering determination and exceptional skills were put on display during his match in 2023. Notably, the cricket maestro, now 34 years old, made an indelible impact by surpassing Sachin Tendulkar‘s record, securing the most number of years with 1000 runs in ODIs. Kohli’s consistent ability to perform at such an exceptional level has been a defining characteristic of his illustrious career, as he had previously achieved this monumental milestone in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019, before accomplishing it once again in the present year of 2023.
Sachin Tendulkar with god of cricket Virat Kohli pic.twitter.com/zmztejNBBB— Kevin (@imkevin149) November 2, 2023
An Unforgettable Journey
In an intense World Cup 2023 clash against Sri Lanka at the renowned Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Virat Kohli’s pursuit of this historic milestone was realized with an impressive 34 runs. Despite facing challenges, including a rare duck against England at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, his overall performance throughout the year has been nothing short of spectacular.
Kohli’s memorable journey was highlighted by an unbeaten century during India’s triumphant seven-wicket victory against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune. Adding to his illustrious record, he solidified his stature with a brilliant 95 runs, making a significant contribution to India’s thrilling four-wicket win over New Zealand led by Tom Latham at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Pune.
Shaheen Shah Afridi: Fastest to 100 ODI Wickets
Shaheen Shah Afridi, on Tuesday, October 31, achieved a remarkable feat, becoming the third fastest bowler to secure 100 wickets in ODIs. His outstanding performance during Pakistan’s World Cup 2023 match against Bangladesh at the renowned Eden Gardens in Kolkata led to this historic accomplishment.
A Landmark Moment
In the thrilling encounter, Shaheen clinched his 100th wicket in only his 51st match, dismissing Tigers’ opening batter Tanzid Hasan Tamim. The left-arm fast bowler displayed exceptional skill as he struck Tamim on the pads, prompting the on-field umpire to raise his finger. Despite Tamim’s referral to the third umpire using the Decision Review System (DRS), the replays confirmed the ball crashing into the stumps, upholding the on-field decision. Bangladesh lost their first wicket with the scoreboard reading 0 in just 0.5 overs.
Surpassing Preceding Records
Shaheen Shah Afridi not only secured this feat in record time but also outshone the accomplishments of esteemed bowlers preceding him. He surpassed the record of the fastest pacer, previously held by Mitchell Starc, who attained the milestone in August 2016 during an ODI against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Legacy of Excellence
Moreover, Shaheen shattered the long-standing record held by Saqlain Mushtaq, becoming the fastest Pakistani bowler to claim 100 wickets in ODIs. Saqlain had set this record on May 12, 1997, during an ODI against Sri Lanka in Gwalior. It is notable that among the Pakistani fast bowlers, the accomplished Shaheen Shah Afridi follows in the footsteps of the legendary Waqar Younis, who achieved the 100-wicket mark back in February 1993 against Zimbabwe in Sharjah.
Demonstrating his prowess beyond ODIs, Shaheen has made significant contributions in Tests and T20Is as well. Since his debut in 2018, he has garnered 105 wickets in Tests and 64 wickets in T20Is. His exceptional journey began with a strong performance in the U19 World Cup in New Zealand. Notably, he played a pivotal role in Lahore Qalandars’ consecutive victories in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
A Testament to Talent and Dedication
Shaheen Shah Afridi’s rapid rise to 100 ODI wickets within 51 matches underlines his exceptional talent and unwavering dedication to the sport. As he continues to leave an indelible mark on the cricketing world, his journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring cricketers worldwide. With his remarkable achievements, Afridi has solidified his place in the annals of cricket history, etching his name as one of Pakistan’s most formidable and promising fast bowlers.
ICC World Cup: Shoaib Akhtar says, ‘Mai India ki tareef kyu na karu’
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has recently expressed admiration for India’s dominant performance in the ongoing 2023 ICC World Cup. With India securing victories in all six matches, Akhtar highlighted the team’s exceptional display across various aspects of the game. Although the recent batting performance against England in Lucknow was relatively modest, India’s fierce bowling attack, led by Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, proved instrumental in securing a remarkable win. This triumph not only solidified India’s leading position on the points table but also exacerbated England’s struggles in the tournament, leaving them virtually eliminated.
India’s Remarkable Bowling Transformation
In his analysis, Akhtar emphasized the transformative impact of Shami’s inclusion in India’s playing eleven following Hardik Pandya’s injury. Acknowledging Shami’s outstanding performances against New Zealand and England, Akhtar credited India’s ability to win matches through their bowling prowess, showcasing a shift from their traditional reliance on batting strength. He commended the collective effort of the Indian bowling unit, particularly recognizing the strategic brilliance of fast bowler Bumrah.
India’s Path to World Cup Glory
Looking ahead, Akhtar voiced his confidence in India’s potential to secure their third ODI World Cup trophy, highlighting the team’s upcoming matches against Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the Netherlands. Expressing optimism, he emphasized the significance of maintaining their unbeaten streak en route to the final, setting the stage for a potential historic ICC World Cup victory. However, Akhtar cautioned against compromising the successful bowling unit once Pandya returns to full fitness, warning against the potential detriment of a partially fit Pandya’s inclusion at the expense of a bowler.
Akhtar’s Praise for India and its Response to Criticism
Addressing skepticism surrounding his praise for the Indian team, Akhtar reiterated the exceptional nature of India’s performance, particularly in their ability to defend a modest total with a significant margin of victory. Undeterred by criticism, Akhtar reaffirmed his admiration for India’s exceptional cricketing prowess, urging acknowledgment and appreciation of their commendable achievements.
Shoaib Akhtar’s Perspective on Virat Kohli
Shifting focus, Akhtar’s history of praise extends beyond team performances to individual players, notably including former Indian team captain Virat Kohli. Reminiscing on Kohli’s resilience during a challenging phase in his career, Akhtar highlighted the pivotal role played by Kohli’s consistent century-scoring performances, leading to India’s victories. Recognizing Kohli’s contribution to the team’s success, Akhtar emphasized the significance of Kohli’s monumental centuries during crucial chases, solidifying his status as a crucial asset for the Indian cricket team.
In a comparison between Kohli and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, Akhtar acknowledged Tendulkar’s status as one of the greatest batsmen while highlighting the challenges Tendulkar faced as a captain. Drawing parallels, Akhtar expressed confidence in Kohli’s eventual resurgence, expecting him to return to his prolific scoring form once he finds his equilibrium.
In summary, Akhtar’s acknowledgment of India’s exceptional performance and his recognition of individual players’ contributions underscore the team’s formidable presence in the 2023 ICC World Cup, setting the stage for a potential historic triumph in the coming days.