Could have been better in all departments, not just fielding: Shikha Pandey

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09 Mar 2020 | 09:03 AM
authorPTI

Could have been better in all departments, not just fielding: Shikha Pandey

Meanwhile former pacer Brett Lee said he found it difficult to watch Indian batting sensation Shafali in tears

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Senior pacer Shikha Pandey admitted that India were outclassed not just the fielding but in all three departments which led to the side's humbling defeat against Australia in the Women's T20 World Cup final.

Unbeaten throughout the tournament, India were handed a massive 85-run thrashing by the defending champions at the MCG on Sunday.

Australia posted 184 for four before their bowlers put up a disciplined effort to win their fifth title in which Pandey was hammered for over 50 runs in her four-over quota.

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

Pandey rued the dropped chances of Beth Mooney (78 not out), whose caught and bowled opportunity was missed by Rajeshwari Gayakwad, and Alyssa Healy (75), who was dropped off the fifth ball of the innings by Shafali Verma. The opening duo then nicely set up Australia's record-breaking win.

"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 said.

Healy and Mooney's efforts shattered the confidence of the Indian bowlers from the first over itself and Pandey, who was at the receiving end, said even she had to appreciate the former's brutal hitting.

"You do have plans against a batter like her, but the kind of shots she played were amazing. Sometimes you can just stand and acknowledge, and appreciate the shots she was playing. It was one of those days when I was on the receiving end."

The 30-year-old Pandey was hit for three boundaries from her first 12 overs delivered in the tournament and the only one that got away in the first two games was struck by Healy in the early overs of the opening game.

Pandey held her nerve to help India secure a crucial win over New Zealand and seal top spot, playing a crucial role as one of the oldest in a squad featuring three teenagers.

Despite struggling in the final as Australia reached 184 for four from their 20 overs, Pandey revelled in the occasion with the India team getting the chance to meet tennis star and sporting icon Billie Jean King after the trophy presentation.

"It's huge to meet people like Billie Jean King in person. I was privileged to be part of the event although it's disappointing to be on the wrong end of the result.

"It's an honour to meet someone who has done so much for women's sport in general and is working for equal opportunities. Just to meet her in person is a good thing.

"She said we were unlucky to have lost and to keep working hard," Pandey said.

Was difficult to watch Shafali in tears: Brett Lee

Former pacer Brett Lee said he found it difficult to watch Indian batting sensation Shafali in tears during the crushing women's T20 World Cup final loss to Australia but he expects the 16-year-old to bounce back strongly.

Verma, who had a successful run till the final, could not click in the summit clash and was seen sobbing after the final.

"I really felt for Shafali Verma at the end, it was tough seeing her in tears but she should be very proud of the way she's performed in Australia," he wrote in his column for the ICC.

"To come out here and face your first tournament head-on is testament to her talent and mental strength, and she's only going to get better from here," he added.

"...she'll learn from this experience and come back stronger. Moments like this can define you in a positive way...Don't be surprised to see her put a big score on the Aussies the next time they play."

The former pace ace said he expects the Indian team to come back strongly after the 85-run hiding.

"...it was a disappointing night for them but they'll certainly be back - this is not the end for them, this is just the start," Lee wrote.

"They'd never played in a Final before and we saw in Melbourne how vital that experience is, it takes a long time to get settled and by the time they did, unfortunately the game was gone.

"Playing in front of a crowd like that takes plenty of getting used to so they'll be better for it, and should take a lot of heart from the way they played in Australia," he added.

Lauding Australia's performance, Lee said the way Healy (75) and Mooney (78) started the proceedings on Sunday, he was reminded of the 2003 ODI men's World Cup final which Australia won against India.

"Sometimes you can bat a team out of the game in that first half, which Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn did for us in Johannesburg," he said.

"Scoreboard pressure means so much more in a Final and, as we saw at the MCG, India just couldn't get the momentum needed for the chase," he added. 

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India WomenAustralia WomenAlyssa Jean HealyBethany Louise MooneyShikha Subas PandeyMelbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), MelbourneICC Women's World T20, 2020India Women vs Australia Women - Final - ICC Women's T20 World Cup, 2020

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