The India Women cricket team had a great opportunity to win the T20 World Cup in Australia. They had played really well during the group stages, wining every game. It had given them the edge to enter the in Melbourne on Sunday.
India’s entry into the final was surrounded in controversy following a washed-out semifinal. Due to some poor planning by the ICC, there was no reserve day; India got a pass to the final.
India Women Falter Under Enormous Pressure
The India-W team did receive some flak from fans across social media; they felt that team was benefitting from ICC’s mistake. Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur defended her team; she stated that all squads were aware of the rules before the tournament began. India not losing a game in the lead up to the semis ended up being an advantage.
That criticism and the pressure of playing a T20 World Cup at the MCG in front of 86,000 fans appeared to have got the better of the India-W team. In retrospect, the team will be deeply disappointed that they did not manage the pressure better.
The pressure that the India-W team was under was visible right from the moment they came onto the field. The fact that they were playing Australia-W in Australia was a challenge by itself but then add to it the extras of playing at the MCG in a World T20 final and having the expectations of a billion Indians to meet got the better of the India-W team sadly!
Australia won the toss and decided to bat first and took the game away from India as their openers put up a brilliant partnership. India-W got the better of Australia in the group stages because Poonam Yadav managed to get them better of them with her spin. However, Australia-W had prepared well and played the spinner wisely.
Australia was severe on the fast bowlers and managed to pile up a total of 184/4 in their 20 overs. The Australians would have struggled if the India-W team had taken their catches. India put down two catches in the first four overs as they dropped both openers. A Healy went on to make 75 and her opening partner B Mooney remained unbeaten on 78.
The dropped catches and the aggressive batting by the Aussies put more pressure on India and gave Australia the mental edge.
Australia Win 5th T20 World Championship
India-W knew that they would need a good start from their openers. Shafali Verma had delivered for India throughout the tournament but she was dismissed for just 2. Her opening partner Smriti Mandhana went for 11. With T Bhatia retiring hurt on 2, the Aussies were all over India; they wasted no time in running through the rest of the line-up.
Once the captain fell for 4, it was just a matter of time. D Sharma top scored with 33 but the rest of the batting line-up were not up to the task and India collapsed for just 99.
Alyssa Healy was awarded the woman of the match award while Beth Mooney won the woman of the series award.