India’s latest cricketing sensation, 16-year-old Shafali Verma went into the World Cup in a squad filled with greats like Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana. However, it wouldn’t be an understatement if one states that it was Verma’s brilliant show throughout the world cup that helped India reach the finals. And once, when she failed to give India a proper start, in the finals, India lost.

Shafali also went on to become the number 1 T20 batswoman in the world during the course of the tournament. After many memorable performances already, the right-handed star feels that the road ahead will only get tougher for her.

“Just didn’t go our way that day (the final). But sports is all about winning and losing. There will be other opportunities that will go our way. What happened we cannot change, but what will happen is in our hands and we will not leave any stone unturned as we look to be the best in the business,” she said as quoted by IANS.

“My job is to go out there and score runs and put India in an advantageous position. It obviously feels good when people appreciate your performance, but the trophy in the hand would have felt so much better,” she added.

“I have been working hard on my fitness and it helps that HCA has given us customised fitness charts keeping in mind the areas we need to work on. With us staying indoors at this point in time, the chart further helps as it has workouts planned in a way that we can easily do them at home and don’t need to go to a gym,” she stated.

“At these times, a lot of negative thoughts can seep into the mind. But speaking to the sports psychologist helped a lot. The motivation has helped stay positive in these tough times,” the youngster went on to add.

“To be honest, the support of Ashwani sir (coach), HCA and Baseline Ventures has really helped. Signing up with them has helped relieve a lot of pressure off my father who has been an integral part of my journey,” the opener who broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record of being the youngest to score an international half-century said.

“You know, there is nothing like seniors will speak and junior have to listen or things like those. It is a very relaxed atmosphere and in fact not just seniors like Harmanpreet Kaur or Smriti Mandhana, everyone is looking to push the other the extra mile. And we have a really amazing coach in WV Raman sir,” she added.

“The best part about Raman sir is that he always has solutions ready and helps out whenever we are stuck. If there is an issue I am facing, I can always go up to him and get clarity on how to work my way out. He just has a brilliant mind and can easily instill confidence,” she stated

“We would keep it simple. If there is a bad ball, it must be hit and there is no two ways about it. So, when I get a bad ball, I hit it and same works for her. And when we get a good ball, we try and steal a single out of it. Nothing beats staying true to your game. Trying to curb your natural instincts don’t work I feel,” she continued.

“Win more games for India. I should be able to put India in a position of strength when I go out to bat. The goal will always be to contribute to India’s success,” she concluded.