India captain Harmanpreet Kaur on Sunday brushed aside the disappointment of her team’s tame surrender in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final against Australia, saying defeats were part of the game. Unbeaten throughout the tournament, India was comprehensively outplayed in a one-sided final by the defending champion at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
AUSW v INDW | AS IT HAPPENED
“The way we played in the league games was outstanding. I still have a lot of faith in my team,” Harmanpreet said after the defeat. “It’s part of the game, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. You have to keep learning. But I trust this team,” she added.
Harmanpreet, however, rued the dropped chances of Australia openers Beth Mooney (78 n.o., 54b, 10x4) and Alyssa Healy (75, 39b, 7x4, 5x6), who set up their team’s victory.
She said players needed to work on their fielding and learn from their mistakes. “Today, it was unfortunate that we dropped those catches. The upcoming one-and-a-half years is very important. We need to focus, especially in fielding,” she said.
“If we talk about the last T20 World Cup, we got to the semifinals, and this time to the final. I think we’re on the right path. Every year we are improving. We just need to think of how we play with focus in the main games. Sometimes we don’t manage that,” the skipper said.
She spoke highly of the domestic IPL-style Women’s Challenger tournament, saying that the event has helped spot talented players for the national team. “This year we are hoping for some more games in the Women’s Challenger, that tournament is very important for us because it is high quality. From there we already got two good players, and hopefully in the upcoming tournaments we can get more.”
Australia captain Meg Lanning was delighted by her team’s performance throughout the tournament. “I’m just really proud of this group of players and staff. We’ve had everything thrown at us, ups and downs. It was tough, definitely, especially after we lost that first game. There was a lot of expectation on us, inside and out. Definitely some tough times in there but we stuck with each other, had each other’s backs,” she said.
Australia was dealt with major blows when star all-rounder Ellyse Perry and pacer Tayla Vlaeminck were ruled out of the tournament, and Lanning said the absence of the duo affected the team’s plans. “Coming in they (the injured players) were a big part of our plans, we had to go to Plan B and C.”
Talking about the record turnout of 86,174 at the iconic MCG, the most in a women’s cricket match, she said, “It has been massive, 86,000 people at the MCG, I’ve never seen it before and didn’t think I’d be part of it in the middle.”
Player of the tournament Beth Mooney, who scored a scintillating unbeaten 78, said her team was aware of their shortcomings from their group-stage loss against India and worked on executing their plans properly. “I’m a bit lost for words. It has been an unbelievable tournament. The crowds have been great throughout the tournament,” Mooney said.
“Didn’t really do anything differently. We had some plans we didn’t execute in that first game. I think we stuck to our processes. We sort of knew what went wrong against India in the first game and we worked on our plans accordingly,” she added.
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