India’s Shafali Verma struggled after dropping Alyssa Healy in final, says Harmanpreet Kaur

India captain Harmanpreet Kaur says opener Shafali Verma struggled to recover after dropping Alyssa Healy early in the Women’s T20 World Cup final.

Healy was named player of the match after smashing 75 from 39 balls but was on just nine was she was dropped by Verma in the first over.

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The India teenager was then dismissed third ball as Australia romped to an 85-run win at the MCG to lift the trophy for the fifth time.

“She’s only 16, she’s playing her first World Cup. She did really, really well and performed for us,” said Kaur. “For a 16-year-old kid, it’s difficult to keep thinking positively and stay in the game.

“It’s a learning lesson for her but it could happen to anyone. We can’t blame her because there were others also in her position.

“We gave chances to batters in great form and it’s difficult for bowlers to come back when that happens.

“We weren’t feeling under pressure but unfortunately we were unable to create those chances.

“It’s a lesson for all of us, we have to be at 100 per cent when we’re fielding because that’s the most important part of cricket.”

Defeat in Melbourne was the second time in recent years India have come up short in a final, after they were beaten by England in the 50-over World Cup final at Lord’s in 2017.

India lost by just nine runs on that occasion and Kaur says that remains the more painful experience and, given the youthful nature of current team, is hopeful they can use this latest defeat as a lesson in where they need to improve.

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“I guess 2017 was more disappointing, because that was so close,” she added. “We didn’t play the cricket we expected of ourselves this time.

“As our team is quite young, we did really well in the league games. We reached the semis and the Final this year. If we keep working and improving, maybe in the future we can win.

“There was still excitement. It was a great day, we definitely enjoyed it. Winning and losing is part of the game, one team has to do both. At the end of the day, it was a great moment for us.

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