In the end, the defending champions Australia proved just why they are a level-above the peck when it comes to handling pressure in crunch games as they outbattled, outbowled, outfield- and overall, outgunned- their Indian counterparts to claim their fifth T20 World Cup on their home turf, the colosseum of cricket, that is the MCG.
In many ways, for Indian cricket fans, Sunday’s defeat to Australia in the T20 World Cup final turned out to be a rude encore of the 2003 Men’s final. Nothing went right from the word to go as Alyssa Healy and Beth Money came out firing all cylinders after the hosts won the toss and decided to bat first.
That India was not at the top of their game today, was pretty evident from the very first over when Deepti Sharma failed to control her length, dishing out juicy full-tosses in the process. Matters were compounded to the hilt when each of Healy and Money was dropped in the first powerplay.
Shafali Verma dropped Alyssa Healy in the very first over and with the latter making full use of the reprieve, it kind of had an effect on the 16-year-old prodigy.
Shafali Verma consoled by fellow team-mates following India’s defeat
Shafali’s day turned to worst when she was dismissed for two in the very first over and following India’s chastening defeat, the Rohtak teenage prodigy couldn’t stop herself from breaking down in tears and had to be consoled by fellow players like Smriti Mandhana and Harleen Deol.
Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said that while Shafali’s drop did have an effect on her, the 16-year-old was not responsible for what was a damning reversal for the Women in Blue. Kaur said that such an experience will be a learning curve for young Verma which will hold her in good stead for the future.
“She’s only 16, she’s playing her first World Cup. She did really, really well and performed for us. For a 16-year-old kid, it’s difficult to keep thinking positively and stay in the game. It’s a learning lesson for her but it could happen to anyone. We can’t blame her because there were others also in her position,” said Kaur.
— AVI♥️NASH (@avi__n__ash) March 8, 2020
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