Mithali Raj backs young Shafali Verma to go a long way
India's ODI captain Mithali Raj yesterday lavished praise on Shafali Verma, 15, and said the aggressive opener can serve the women's team for a long time with proper grooming and exposure. "I seriously think that she [Shafali] is a talented youngster. And given the right kind of exposure and [if] mentored properly, she can be the future player for India," Mithali said.
Shafali, who replaced the recently retired Mithali in the T20 squad, earned his maiden call-up for the ongoing T20 series against South Africa. Though India won the opening game in Surat, Shafali was dismissed for a duck. India will play a three-match ODI series against South Africa after the ongoing five-match T20 series.
"Though we don't have the ICC Championship points, I want the ODI side to do well [in the series against South Africa], it gives exposure to the young players in the team as well as match exposure for us before the West Indies tour," said Mithali. Now that Mithali will be only playing one format, she feels that she has more time to work on her fitness.
"I have more time to work as a player on my skill, on my fitness. I can give more importance to exclusively train on my strength and fitness sessions, which can help me be fresh for the ODI series," added Mithali.
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