India’s World Cup final loss ‘shocking’ for coach Arothe

While the entire nation hailed the power-puff girls for their superlative show in the tournament, the players had a sleepless night after going down in the final.

It was an evening of heartbreak for the women in blue as a galliant campaign culminated with a slip up in the World Cup final.   -  Getty Images

“It is shocking…”

That’s how Tushar Arothe preferred to describe India’s collapse in the final of the Women’s World Cup. The Mithali Raj-led side, which almost had its hand on the coveted World Cup, conceded a nine-run defeat at the Lord’s on Sunday.

But even a day later, the feeling was yet to sink in for India’s coach. The former Baroda cricketer, who took charge as the coach of the women’s team in April, sounded disappointed as he spoke about the royal fumbling. “Some 40 runs were needed off seven overs. A run-a-ball would have served our purpose. There was no need to hurry up, and pile on the pressure,” Arothe told Sportstar from London.

Tushar Arothe, who took charge as the coach of the women’s team in April, sounded disappointed as he spoke about the defeat.   -  Vivek Bendre

 

After early jitters, Punam Raut and Harmanpreet Kaur steadied the Indian ship, taking them closer to the finishing line. But things changed soon after Kaur and Raut departed. While Veda Krishnamurthy tried turning the tide, the efforts were not enough. “Now as I look back, quite a few things come to my mind. May be, Veda should have avoided playing that shot. Being a senior player, may be she could have kept her nerves,” Arothe said, adding that inexperience caused the team dear. “I am not blaming anyone. But since, it was a World Cup final, it hurts more. I feel the batswomen should not have left things for the end. That mounted up the pressure,” Arothe said.

While the entire nation hailed the power-puff girls for their superlative show in the tournament, the players had a sleepless night after going down in the final. “We met for breakfast this morning, and their eyes indicated that they couldn’t sleep last night. We didn’t want to analyse what went wrong at this point. But definitely, we will talk about it before leaving England,” Arothe said.

The coach, however, felt that a so-near yet so-far moment could have been avoided. “Had they not succumbed under pressure things could have been different. Mithali’s run out, Harmanpreet and Veda’s dismissals changed the game,” he said, adding: “It was a tricky wicket to bat on, but then, the total was not big. We could have reached that. There can’t be any excuse for that.”

In 2005, the Indian women’s team went down in the final, letting the World Cup dreams flow out. And 12 years later, it had a perfect chance to amend the errors. But in the end, it too turned out to be an evening of heartbreak for the women in blue.

Twice bitten, they would hope to be third time lucky!

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