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  5. Not just fielding, could've been better in all departments, says Shikha Pandey

Not just fielding, could've been better in all departments, says Shikha Pandey

A sluggish start with the ball and in the field undermined India's attempts to overhaul the four-time champions in their own backyard with the support of a 86,174 crowd.

IANS Reported by: IANS
Melbourne Published on: March 09, 2020 12:57 IST
Shikha Pandey
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

Not just fielding, could've been better in all departments, says Shikha Pandey

India's Shikha Pandey believes it was not just their fielding which let the team down in the Women's T20 World Cup final against Australia where they faced a crushing defeat at the MCG.

A sluggish start with the ball and in the field undermined India's attempts to overhaul the four-time champions in their own backyard with the support of a 86,174 crowd on Sunday.

India's bid to chase 185 was always going to be difficult, with leading wicket-taker Megan Schutt taking the first four-wicket haul in a final to restrict Harmanpreet Kaur's side to 99 all out.

"Nerves weren't really a factor. Once you get onto the field, you just zone out. I don't think I felt nerves," Shikha said.

"Initially, if you gift chances to batters in form they're going to use them. It could have gone either way but those chances costed us. We could have been better in all three departments, it wasn't just the fielding," she added.

Teen sensation Shafali Verma, who had a rare failure with the bat in the final, had dropped Alyssa Healy on nine. However, Shafali was far from the only guilty party when it came to grassing chances with Rajeshwari Gayakwad dropping Beth Mooney in single figures and fielding errors ensued from the likes of Poonam Yadav.

Meanwhile, Sriti Mandhana revealed she told a tearful Shafali to be 'really proud' of her performances at the tournament despite a devastating final defeat.

"Shafali and I were standing almost together when we were receiving our medals. She was in tears," said Mandhana.

"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," she added.

India can reflect on their best performance at a Women's T20 World Cup, building on a semi-final appearance in the Caribbean back in 2018.

Mandhana believes India are a transformed team in the shortest format, an evolution she feels lies at the feet of head coach WV Raman and represents a fine platform for the future.

"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," she said.

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