Teenage sensation Shafali Verma was left to tears after India lost to Australia in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final on Sunday.
The Aussies thrashed Harmanpreet Kaur & Co. by 85 runs to clinch their fifth T20 World Cup title.
Shafali, who ended the tournament as India’s top run-scorer, was seen sobbing on the field after the match ended.
Former Australia fast bowler, Brett Lee, felt sorry for the 16-year-old India opener.
“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.
Shafali scored 29, 39, 46, 47 and 2 in her first Women’s T20 World Cup. When Indian star batters like Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur failed, Shafali stood tall.
“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,” Lee added.
The Aussie legend opines that Shafali will only get better from here on. “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.”
Lauding Australia’s performance, Lee said the way Alyssa Healy (75) and Beth Mooney (78 not out) started the innings on Sunday; he was reminded of the 2003 Men’s ODI World Cup final which Ricky Ponting’s brigade won against Sourav Ganguly’s men in Johannesburg.
“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,” Lee 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.