Millennium Post

Life after Mithali: 15-year-old Shafali comes into T20 squad

New Delhi: Rookie batter Shafali Verma, all of 15, on Thursday became one of the youngest to be picked in the Indian women's cricket team, her arrival coinciding with the departure of the long-serving Mithali Raj from the T20 scene.

Verma, whose ability with the bat has impressed many, including Mithali, has been selected in the Indian team for the first three games of the upcoming five-match T20 International series against South Africa.

Mithali will continue to lead the team in the three-match ODI series, which will follow the five T20 Internationals, where Harmanpreet Kaur will captain.

A little over five feet tall, Shafali was chosen following her good performances in the Women's T20 challenge earlier and at the age-group level this year. The diminutive Haryana-girl played under Mithali for Team Velocity in the women's T20 challenge which was held during the IPL earlier this year.

The youngster has a strike rate of 150-plus in the under-19 and under-23 category domestic events. Besides effectively wielding the willow, she also bowls off-breaks.

England's illustrious cricketer Danielle Wyatt has also praised the talented Verma, calling her a "superstar" in the making.

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