India Women’s mental block against Lanning’s legends
The final of the 2022 Commonwealth Games wasn’t the first time when India wasn’t able to come up trump against Australia in a close contest.
The team was able to win only one match on their last tour of Australia right before the 2022 ODI World Cup. Even in that series, they were close to the finish line on several occasions, but somehow either the team made a lot of errors, or Australia were simply good for them.
Something similar was on display in the final of the 2020 T20 World Cup when Alyssa Healy played a spectacular knock.
History repeated itself in the final of the 2022 Commonwealth Games as India collapsed from a comfortable position, and Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur could only lament over the defeat.
“The effort we put up today is something we wanted to do. I know the last 2-3 overs [in the chase] were not in our favour but throughout the game, the way we played was outstanding to watch. We’ve been working on our fielding for a long time. I’m happy with the way we fielded today. That is something we wanted to do as a team.”
“I know we could’ve easily won gold, but something is better than nothing, at least we got silver. We deserved it for so much hard work. If not gold, we’re satisfied with what we got today. As a team we are on the right track, we just need to keep working hard. As Lanning said, we’re not far from dominating across formats. We are improving as a team and time is not far when we will start winning back-to-back,” Harmanpreet said.
Although India lost the final of the 2017 ODI World Cup against England at Lord’s from a winning situation as well, the most that India have struggled in reaching the finish line has been against Australia.
More work needs to be put in
And this has been the case in bilateral series as well and not only in showpiece events.
Granted that the Australian women’s cricket team is not only the best team of its generation but is the best team to take the field in women’s cricket ever, and it is not easy to beat them.
That said, India must work to keep control of their nerves, particularly when they are close to the finish line, because winning hearts is one thing, and winning matches is another.