Dynamic opener Shafali Verma has praised the positive atmosphere within the dressing room of the Indian Women’s cricket, highlighting there is no differentiation between seniors and juniors and crediting coach WV Raman for the same.

The team was going through a turbulent period before Raman’s appointment as its head coach in December 2018, with former coach Ramesh Powar and Mithali Raj’s fallout leading to one of Indian cricket’s scandalous sagas. But with the former India international coming on board, Shafali explains the equation within the players has improved manifold.

“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,” Shafali told IANS.

“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 instil confidence.”

As far as her own game is concerned, Shafali sounded happy with where she is at the moment. The 16-year-old is coming off a memorable T20 World Cup campaign, where she scored 163 runs in five games at a healthy strike-rate of 158.25. In fact, her knocks of 46 against New Zealand and 47 against Sri Lanka were instrumental in guiding India to the knockouts of the World Cup. Ahead of the final, Verma had jumped a mind-boggling 19 places to secure the No. 1 spot in the ICC batting rankings for women.

Her explosive batting possesses a touch of a certain Virender Sehwag, and although the 16-year-old’s coach has urged people to stop comparing her with the former India opener, Shafali’s thoughts about her batting approach will make it difficult for her fans not to.

“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 explained.

“[I] want to 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.”

Reflecting on the final of the World Cup, which India lost by 99 runs, Shafali, who was dismissed cheaply, reckoned despite the loss, she takes heart from the fact that India were undefeated en route to the final at a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“Just didn’t go our way that day. 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.

“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.”