Women's T20 World Cup: Brett Lee backs India to make maiden final

The Harmanpreet Kaur-led India topped the group stage with four wins in as many games and plays its semifinal on Thursday.

Former Australia bowler Brett Lee feels it would take a special effort from the opponent to stop India from reaching its maiden women's T20 World Cup.

Former Australia bowler Brett Lee feels it would take a special effort from the opponent to stop India from reaching its maiden women's T20 World Cup.   -  AFP

Former Australia pacer Brett Lee foresees a “different” looking India making its maiden T20 Women’s World Cup final and attributed the side's rise to the emergence of star players like 16-year-old Shafali Verma.

Besides opener Shafali, experienced leg-spinner Poonam Yadav has been the other match-winner for India in the competition. The Harmanpreet Kaur-led side topped the group stage with four wins in as many games and plays its semifinal on Thursday.

“They’ve never reached the final but this is a different India team from the one they’ve seen before. They’ve combined match-winners in Shafali Verma and Poonam Yadav with consistent players with both bat and ball,” Lee was quoted as saying by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“We’ve always known they have some of the best players in the world but now Harmanpreet Kaur has a team around her that can support the big players, and fill in the gaps when they have an off day.”

Only a special effort from its opponent can stop India from reaching its maiden final, feels Lee.

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"They’ll go into the semi-finals full of confidence and it will take an excellent team to stop them from reaching the Final.”

Talking more about Shafali, who has got 47, 46, 39, and 29 so far, Lee backed the teen sensation to make a bigger score in the semifinal.

“Shafali Verma has been excellent at the top of the order, she’s brought a fearless energy to India’s batting and been brilliant to watch.

“You feel she can go even bigger as well — she hasn’t reached 50 yet, which is both exciting for those watching and worrying for the bowlers.

“We saw from the opener against Australia just how good India can be, and it’s no surprise they’ve continued that form to top Group A,” he added.

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