India’s southpaw Smriti Mandhana disclosed that she told her opening partner Shafali Verma, who was in tears, to be ‘really proud’ of her performances at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 despite a catastrophic Final defeat to Australia.
India succumbed to an 85-run defeat to Australia in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final. India’s otherwise power-packed batting line-up failed to fire with top run-scorer Shafali Verma struggling to get going. Smriti Mandhana (11), who has been out of form this tournament could not capitalize on the start as she fell against the run of play. Apart from Deepti Sharma (33), none of the Indian batters looked in shape as the Women in Blue were bundled out for a meager 99 in 19.1 overs.
Child prodigy Shafali Verma, who became the world number one batter in T20 format during the tournament, was visibly disheartened as she could score just two on the big occasion. Early in the match, the 16-year old was guilty of dropping Healy (9), who went on to score a match-winning 75 (39).
“Shafali and I were standing almost together when we were receiving our medals. She was in tears. I told her she had to be really proud of the kind of campaign she’d had.”
“When I played my first World Cup at the age of 16, I couldn’t hit the ball 20 percent of what she can hit.”
“She has to be really proud of the way she played, but she was upset with the way she got out. She’s thinking already how she can be better. She should be left alone, that’s the most I can tell her. This is a time to introspect. Failure teaches you a lot more than success. The team needs to be left alone and think of how we can be better in the next few years,” stated Smriti.
Dropped catches, ordinary bowling and then a disappointing batting did not help the first time finalists to give a tough fight to the four-time champions.
“T20 wasn’t the strength of the team, but the way we’ve played in the last eight-ten months, we have to be really proud of. T20 was never our best format, one-day was definitely the preferred format. Now we’re playing each format equally well. That is one thing the coach has helped us with and we’ve developed massively.”
“The youngsters coming in have totally changed the set-up and the best part of the whole tournament was it was a complete team performance. That’s one thing Raman has done – developing us as a team, not just one or two players. Today it didn’t work out but we’ve grown as a team, not just as one or two players. It’s not a case of just getting one or two of our players out, you have to get five or six out and that’s very good,” explicated Mandhana.