India captain Harmanpreet Kaur on Sunday backed 16-year-old Shafali Verma after her dropped catch of Alyssa Healy cost India dearly in the Women’s T20 World Cup final against Australia on Sunday.
Shafali, who dropped Healy in the first over, could only stand and witness as the Australian smashed a 39-ball 75 and, along with Beth Mooney (78 not out off 54), adding 115 runs for the opening wicket to power Australia to 184/4 in 20 overs.
In reply, India were bowled out for 99 as the Aussies won an unprecedented fifth world title in the shortest format.
“She (Verma) is only 16, she’s playing her first World Cup. She did really, really well and performed for us. For a 16-year-old kid, it’s difficult to keep thinking positively and stay in the game,” said Kaur before adding, “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,” she said.
Kaur denied that her side were overwhelmed by the occasion as they were playing in their maiden final in front of a record 86174 spectators at the iconic MCG, the most in a women’s cricket match.
“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.”
(With PTI inputs)
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