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Shafali Verma becomes India’s youngest T20I debutant

Shafali Verma earned her call-up in the national team after running a successful domestic season.

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Shafali Verma becomes India's youngest T20I debutant
Shafali plays a duck in her debut: Photo: India.com

Shafali Verma, on Tuesday, became the youngest T20I debutant for India when she was selected in the playing XI for the first T20I against South Africa at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium.

15-years old Shafali, however, did not capitulate the opportunity. She was dismissed for a duck opening the innings. Verma’s opening partner Smriti Mandhana who was also among the list of youngest cricketers for India, scored 21 off 16 balls in this particular occasion.

However, Shafali is the second-youngest player to represent India after Gargi Banerjee.

The youngster earned his selection after a superb domestic season where she scored 1,923 runs that included six hundreds and three half-centuries.

About her inspiration to be a cricketer, Shafali said, “There were as many people outside the stadium as inside to get a glimpse of Tendulkar. Only then I realised how big a deal is to be a cricketer in India, especially when you are revered like Sachin sir.”

India, led by Harmanpreet Kaur, will play five T20s against the Proteas.

“I was expecting this call-up to be honest. I had done well in domestic cricket and also in that big tournament in Jaipur. The recent camp at NCA also went well for me. So, yes I was hopeful,” Shafali told to PTI.

In the match, Indian women secured an 11-run win against South African women following heroics from spinner Deepti Sharma who, in her four overs quota, bowled four maidens to claim three wickets.

Asked to bat, India settled for a modest total of 130 for eight. Following that, Indian spinners made it tough for the visitors who were bowled out for 119 with one ball left.

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