The stage was set at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, the International Women's Day. More than 86,000 people gathered at the ground to witness a women’s world cup final between two countries that’s rich in sporting culture.
Despite going through some ups and downs on their road to final, the hosts Australia were favourites against an Indian side that was unbeaten going into the final showdown. This clearly explains why the Australian women's team are head and shoulders above other teams right now.
While India were playing their first T20 World Cup final, Australia were gunning for their 5th title and that sums up their supremacy in women's cricket.
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The home side went on to dominate the ladies in blue and in the end there was only side that did turn up on the day. So what were the reasons that led to India’s defeat in T20 World Cup final?
#1. Not all bases covered
India were enjoying the nature of surfaces in the round robin phase, which was dry and slow and that suited their slow bowlers to perfection. India suffocated the opposition batting with good spin options as most matches were very low scoring.
Come the MCG for the final, the 22 yards was completely different as it played true and good for strokeplay. India’s spinners were ineffective against a batting line-up that enjoyed the conditions. There was clearly no Plan B for India as they failed to cover all the bases that’s required to win a World title.
#2. Dependency on one or two players
Most teams that have been successful in winning tournaments have always had many players stand up during crunch moments and not dependent on one or two. Yes, there may be players in form, some senior players but come the final time, most players in the squad need to be mentally switched on to make a meaningful contribution when required.
It was not the case for Indian women on Sunday especially in the batting department. India were chasing a mammoth 185 and the whole of country would have hoped for another special from the 16-year old opener Shafali Verma. Once she was dismissed in the very first over, the result was only delaying the inevitable.
#3. Overawed by the occasion
The Indian skipper spoke about enjoying the final on the eve but it was very evident that some players were just overawed by the magnanimous occasion while Australia seemed to thrive in front of the 86,000 plus crowd at the G.
Indian fielders were very sloppy at the start as both openers Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney had reprieves; the former was dropped by Shafali Verma when on 9 while Rajeshwari Gayakwad put down the latter when she had scored only 5. Both went on to score big and in the process Australia out batted the women in blue.