Dear Team India,
I know this is a heartbreaking moment. It is not easy to go through loss, something like this. Having said that, look at the team you took on today. They have international experience literally equal to the age of most of the players in the Indian team. They have played the finals more than the matches a few of our players totally played in their career.
That’s how young the team is and to come this far, it is something else. We defeated Australia in the league stages and made them play the virtual Quarter Final to enter the semi-final. Pushing Australia to that position is something big.
We have three teenagers who are already big stars. Shafali Verma, 16, was taking on Megan Schutt like she was facing an amateur bowler. Even Schutt was afraid to bowl to Shafali because she didn’t want to be humiliated. This is a win.
I haven’t seen someone hitting the ball too good like her and clear the field like this. Sixes certainly used to be a rarity in the Indian team and not anymore. With years to go, Shafali is going to play multiple World Cup finals and is going to lead us all from the front.
For all these years, I have watched either Smriti Mandhana or Harmanpreet Kaur doing wonders for the team but this time, they seemed a bit out of touch and other players did not make it look like a void. This certainly is a big thing considering the fact that the team performed as a unit.
Everyone played their role well until the finals. We had Shafali giving the best start for the team and Deepti Sharma followed it up with her play. In the end, Veda Krishnamurty came to give the final touch. The latter’s cameo in the match against Bangladesh was crucial too.
Australian surface is not really spin-friendly. However, the Indian spinners exploited it and they stood up to the occasion. We had Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Radha Yadav, Deepti Sharma stunning the batters and of course, Poonam Yadav understanding what she must do helped us in a big way.
Poonam was coming back from injury and in an interview, she said that she still has pain in her finger. Still, she kept going, doing wonders with the ball.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2.0 is something else and has done well to put the pressure on the batters and take India home in pressure moments.
Fielding might be a bit let down compared to the other teams. However, we did manage to take some good catches in the field and stopped some important runs. Yes, we need to work on it and we certainly will.
We had Shikha Pandey who used to play the second fiddle to Jhulan Goswami take up the main role and bowled brilliantly during the crunch moments.
Every single player out there did what they can and this is T20. We cannot tell how things can change in a ball or two.
The real victory is not only the trophy but the way this young bunch has managed to bring the crowd in. 89 thousand people came to watch the match today and most of them were because India was there.
This is one of the genuine bunch of people I have seen. We had Jemimah showing her dancing skills with a guard. Later with the kids from Australia. She is a celebrity already and these gestures are lovely.
Not all the players came from a great background. Most of our talents are found in the outskirts or in the small villages.
We have a player who just set a grocery store for her parents. An Air force officer. A girl who had to dress up like a boy to play the game and many more. Every single player out there has broken the stereotype and for years to come, you will be an inspiration to the kids out there.
Already there are many people who have picked up their bats after watching you, team. I read a story about how a bullied girl who had to take a lot for her height is currently picking up her ball because Poonam Yadav did it.
Most importantly, You sir, WV Raman, found the knack of building a team, a group of performers. You identified each one’s strength and worked on it. Something many coaches failed.
At the end of the day, it is also about setting the right example to the youngsters and helping them to pick up the bat or ball. You guys have done that, and it is second to none.
Maybe, not today. Not tomorrow but maybe someday you will get there. You will hold the trophy with all the pride. At that time, you will look back and see how far you have come. We are all proud of you and always will be. Thank you for the efforts, the performances. Until next time.