Numbers game: Shafali Verma, the record breaker
Shafali Verma announced her arrival to the Test format by hitting sensational knocks in both innings of the one-off Test against England at the Bristol County Ground. India’s teen sensation and the world’s No.1 T20I batter made her mark on the longest format by scoring 96 in the first innings. An attempt to get to the triple figures via a slog meant that she holed out to mid-off. In the second essay, she continued her rich form, stroking a good-looking 63 before falling to a good diving catch from Katherine Brunt off Sophie Ecclestone.
In her very first appearances in whites, Verma broke a slew of records. Here is the list of all that she achieved in the Test:
167: Shafali Verma & Smriti Mandhana forged the highest opening partnership for India in Test cricket in the first inning beating the previous record held by Gargi Banerji and Sandhya Agarwal back in 1986.
159: Verma made 159 runs on her debut Test, becoming the first under-18 aged player to score 100+ runs in a Test match.
96: Although she fell four runs shorts of her well-deserved century, Verma now holds a record for the highest score on Test debut for India, getting past Chanderkanta Kaul’s 75 v NZ at Nelson in 1995.
72: Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana’s 167 opening stand accounted for 72% of India’s total, the second-highest percentage for a single partnership in a Test inning.
9: The swashbuckling opener became the ninth Indian to make a half-century on Test debut. Her fellow debutantes Deepti Sharma and Sneh Rana joined the list after.
6: When Verma scored her half-century off 63 balls in the second innings, which is the sixth-fastest fifty in Test cricket.
4: Fourth youngest player to score a Test fifty after Johmari Logtenberg (South Africa), Sajjida Shah (Pakistan) and Rajani Venugopal (India) in that order.
4: With her half-century in the second inning, Verma became only the fourth player to make two 50+ scores on Test debut joining the list of Lesley Cooke (England), Vanessa Bowen (Sri Lanka), and Jess Jonassen (Australia).
3: 17-year-old now has third-most runs on debut in a Test with only Michelle Goszko (204) of Australia and Lesley Cooke (189) of England ahead of her.
3: After one match, Verma has the most career sixes in Test cricket going beyond the legends of the game like Rachael Heyhoe-Flint and Karen Rolton.
3: She hit three sixes in two innings surpassing Lauren Winfield-Hill who hit two sixes in England’s first innings and Alyssa Healy who hit two sixes in the day-night Ashes Test in 2017.
3: Shafali Verma became the third Indian to score 50+ runs in both innings of a Test match after Sandhya Agarwal and Gargi Banerji.