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Women's Cricket

Young sensation Shafali Verma becomes top-ranked T20I batter

Shafali Verma is expected to light up the T20 World Cup
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Shafali Verma, India’s 16-year-old opener, ascended to the top of the ICC women’s T20I batting rankings, after her dazzling display in the group stage of the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia.

Verma, who racked up 161 runs in four matches, climbed up 19 places to take the top spot. She displaced New Zealand’s Suzie Bates, who dropped to No.2. Verma is only the second Indian, after former captain Mithali Raj, to hold the top spot in the ICC rankings.

Shafali Verma rankings

England star Sophie Ecclestone moved to the top of the bowlers’ rankings

The feat is vindication of the huge potential possessed by the teenager. Verma, who arrived on the scene as a 15-year-old with big hitting ability, made history in November last year, when she became the youngest Indian to score an international half-century, breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s 30-year record.

It was a fitting achievement for the youngster, whose cricketing ambitions were stoked when she watched Tendulkar play his final Ranji Trophy match in Lahli in 2013.

Verma is currently India’s top scorer in the World Cup and among the top three run-getters overall. She now figures to play a prominent role in the final run as India face England in the semifinal on Thursday.

England’s Sophie Ecclestone, at just 20 years old, has topped the bowlers’ rankings, moving up two places to displace Australia’s Megan Schutt at the top of the charts. It’s just reward for Ecclestone’s fine performance in the World Cup so far, where she has taken eight wickets in four matches at 6.12.

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