Indian Women’s opening batter Smriti Mandhana feels that Shafali Verma has to be proud of herself for performing impressively in the recently-concluded ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020.
Before the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020, India Women performed superbly in that whole tournament. Starting the tournament with a victory against the hosts and defending champions Australia women by 17 runs, the Indian players continued that momentum in the entire group stage.
India Women entered the final of the tournament as an unbeaten side. They won all the group stage matches, and the semi-final match against the Group B runners-up England Women was washed out in the rain.
However, they failed to continue that momentum in the final of the tournament as the Australia women thrashed them by 85 runs and won the title for the fifth time.
The 16-year-old Shafali was one of the reasons why India women achieved successes in the recently-held T20 World Cup. While Smriti and Harmanpreet Kaur failed to perform in this entire tournament.
Before the final, Shafali scored 29, 39, 46 and 47 runs respectively in that tournament. She not only provided the good starts but also made things look easier for her seniors. Though the right-handed batter scored only two runs in the final of the tournament, she finished as the most run-scorer for India women and fifth-most run-scorer in overall in that tournament.
In that tournament, she scored 163 runs in five innings with an average of 32.60.
After losing the final, Shafali was left teary-eyed. While she failed to provide a good start in the run chase, she also dropped a crucial catch of the Player of the Match award winner – Alyssa Healy on the fifth ball of the final match.
Every Indian player was consoling her and giving full support to the teenager.
After that match, Mandhana said according to Sportstar, “Shafali and I were standing almost together when we were receiving our medals. She was in tears.
“I told her she had to be really proud of the kind of campaign she’d had. When I played my first World Cup at the age of 16, I couldn’t hit the ball 20 per cent of what she can hit.
“She has to be really proud of the way she played, but she was upset with the way she got out.
“She’s thinking already how she can be better. She should be left alone, that’s the most I can tell her.
“This is a time to introspect. Failure teaches you a lot more than success. The team needs to be left alone and think of how we can be better in the next few years.”
Head coach helped to develop us as a team: Smriti Mandhana
However, the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 was still the best edition for India Women in the WT20 WC history. It was the first time in that tournament history when they were playing the final.
Talking about their recent success in T20 cricket, Mandhana credited the Head Coach WV Raman. While the Indian Women’s opener admitted that the T20 cricket was not their strength, she also added that the chief coach changed their mindset by developing their skills for this format.
Mandhana claimed, “T20 wasn’t a strength of the team, but the way we’ve played in the last eight-ten months, we have to be really proud of.
“T20 was never our best format, one-day was definitely the preferred format. Now we’re playing each format equally well. That is one thing the coach has helped us with and we’ve developed massively.
“The youngsters coming in have totally changed the set-up and the best part of the whole tournament was it was a complete team performance.
“That’s one thing Raman has done – developing us as a team not just one or two players. Today it didn’t work out but we’ve grown as a team, not just as one or two players.
“It’s not a case of just getting one or two of our players out, you have to get five or six out and that’s a very good.”
Well, Mandhana didn’t shine with her bat in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020. She only scored 49 runs in that tournament with an average of 12.25.