Mithali Raj: Will encourage Shafali Verma to enjoy her batting

The 17-year-old made a sensational start to her Test career, with scores of 96 and 63 in Bristol. Mithali said, as a captain, she would encourage her to play the way she enjoyed playing.

Teen sensation Shafali Verma is set to make her ODI debut against England.   -  Getty Images

Mithali Raj wants Shafali Verma to play her natural game on Sunday. The free-stroking opener is expected to make her ODI debut in the first of the three-match series against England in Bristol.

The 17-year-old made a sensational start to her Test career a few days ago at the same venue, with scores of 96 and 63.

“There will be times when she gives us head starts, and we would love her to be consistent, but she is a young kid and will learn with experience,” said Mithali.

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The skipper said India was going into the ODI leg of the tour in a confident frame of mind after doing well to save the one-off Test. However, she conceded that England would enjoy the home advantage.

“England is one of the best sides in the world,” she said. “But we have players who have had the experience of playing the league here, and we would get inputs from them about preparing against the England squad.”

About the early end to the Test match, when debutants Sneh Rana and Taniya Bhatia had chances of reaching a hundred and fifty respectively, she said, “Sneh told me it was a bad-light call taken by the umpires,” Mithali said. “When the umpires saw both the teams congratulating each other, it was pretty much taken that the match was over.”

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