Drop affected Shafali but defeat not her fault, says Harmanpreet
Harmanpreet Kaur says Shafali Verma struggled to bounce back after dropping Alyssa Healy but refused to blame the teenager for defeat in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup final.
Melbourne : Harmanpreet Kaur says Shafali Verma struggled to bounce back after dropping Alyssa Healy but refused to blame the teenager for defeat in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup final.
India, playing in their first Women's T20 World Cup Final, had no answer to Alyssa Healy (75) and Beth Mooney (78 not out) before folding to 99 all out at the hands of seamer Megan Schutt and spinner Jess Jonassen.
Shafali, who ends with the highest strike rate of any batter to face more than 50 balls at the event, dropped Healy on nine in the first over and only made two in the reply.
But this setback will only serve as a learning experience in the eyes of the India captain. "She's only 16, she's playing her first World Cup.
She did really, really well and performed for us," said Kaur. "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.
We gave chances to batters in great form and it's difficult for bowlers to come back when that happens. We weren't feeling under pressure but unfortunately we were unable to create those chances.
"It's a lesson for all of us, we have to be at 100 per cent when we're fielding because that's the most important part of cricket."
India came into the tournament with one of its youngest squads, and became the first team to field more than one teenager in the tournament's Final.
It's a youthful energy that bodes well for the future for Kaur's side, with plenty of new faces since their ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2017 defeat to England.
On that occasion, just nine runs separated India from the title - with the lack of clinical cricket this time around making defeat slightly easier to swallow for the skipper.
"I guess 2017 was more disappointing, because that was so close," she added. "We didn't play the cricket we expected of ourselves this time."