- Shafali Verma became the youngest player in the world to be ranked No.1 T20I player on Wednesday.
- The 16-year-old jumped 19 places to reach the spot, leaving the likes of Smriti Mandhana & Suzie Bates behind.
- India face England in the ICC Women's World T20 on Thursday.
India rising young opener Shafali Verma achieved another milestone on Wednesday by grabbing the top place in the T20I Rankings for women in the latest list released by the governing body International Cricket Council (ICC).
As a result, the 16-year-old Shafali has become the youngest Indian ever, both in men’s and women’s cricket, to be ranked No. 1 in any format of ICC Player Rankings table. The youngster jumped a stunning 19 places to surpass New Zealand’s former captain Suzie Bates and grab the top place with 761 points. Furthermore, she is only the second Indian after Mithali Raj to be ranked No. 1 in women’s T20I.
Shafali has been amongst the top performers in the ongoing Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia, having collected 161 runs in 4 matches at an average of 40.25 so far.
However, it is her strike rate of 161, the highest among all batswomen in the tournament, that is more impressive. The youngster has taken the weight of the runs when veterans like Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana have struggled for numbers.
These numbers are even more mind-blowing considering that the Rohtak-based teen sensation made her international debut not even 6 months ago.
After playing her first T20I in September last year, Shafali has gone on to collect 485 runs in just 18 T20Is, averaging 28.52 runs per game at a strike rate of 146.96 including two half-centuries.
Smriti, on the other hand, fell 2 places from fourth after a dip in form in the T20 WC. Another top-order batswoman Jemimah Rodrigues, the 3rd Indian in the top 10, too slipper 2 spots to be ranked ninth.
India will be facing 2018 WC’s runner-ups England in a high-voltage semi-final on Thursday. However, heavy wind and rain threaten to wash out the contest.