A loss & an inspiration
While hearts sank as India could not produce a maiden Women's T20 World Cup victory, the very fact that they sank watching our players miss out on the cup is a testimony to how far Women's cricket has come in time. India may have lost to Australia in a tournament they thrived in, yet they won a billion hearts back home where everyone stood in awe of how women performed in the entire World Cup campaign. Women in Blue have not just inspired young girls to pick up the bat with boys but urged them to thrive in any sport. The rising tide of women in sports has got a push in general from the result that the women's cricket team has produced in Australia this spring. The final loss also came at the hands of a team that India triumphed over at the start of the campaign. India defeated Australia in the group stage of the T20 World Cup and reached the final without losing a single match on the way. The Semi-Final walkover was a bit of luck shining upon but nobody can discount their performances prior to that. These women have carried the tricolour to their maiden final in a women's T20 world cup and there is all the more hope that they can triumph in their next attempt. While they failed to go all the way, their failure shall serve both as a lesson for themselves and an inspiration for million others who wish to pursue the same dream.
In retrospect, it is also important to realise the lapses and work on them. The Indian team played well for the course of the campaign except for the last day. In the span of the group stage, India got accustomed to stupendous starts by its opener, Shafali Verma. Not just by her bat, the teenager made history on Sunday by becoming the youngest player ever (female or male) to feature in a Cricket World Cup Final (across both 20 & 50 over tournaments). In Shafali, India had a major advantage — 161 in four innings. But our strength can also be our weakness given the situation. India thoroughly suffered by the dismissal of its star batsmen at just 2 runs in the final. Not just Shafali, the entire team floundered under pressure. India will be wise to place such a setback as skipping stone rather than sink with it in retrospection. Nevertheless, a laudable performance.
(Image from hindustantimes.com)