India fell well short in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup final against hosts Australia, but the unit should be proud of the clinical effort that led them there in the first place, said head coach WV Raman.
India performed exceedingly well in their group stage matches, beating all sides, including Australia, by comfortable margins. The mighty Australians hit back in the final to win by 85 runs and lift their fifth title, but India can take pride in their overall showing, says Raman.
"The girls performed as a unit as against what was being said, that they were dependent highly on one or two individuals," Raman said in an interview with Cricbuzz. "They fought well, they had a lot of challenges and they coped with the challenges well. All the games were hard-fought, we were up for it. The girls definitely did themselves proud."
After their 17-run win over Australia in the tournament opener in Sydney, India were expected to pose a stiff challenge to the hosts in the final and perhaps even lift the title for the first time in their history, but it didn't quite go to plan. Raman said that a part of the reason for their poor showing in the final was down to the team's inability to remain 'switched on' after their semifinal match against England was washed out.
"I don't want this to sound like an excuse, but what didn't help us was that leading up to the final, we were inactive for a week," he pointed out. "It's not easy for a young side to switch on and switch off at will. It can be done by a very experienced side, maybe, just maybe. After almost a week, wherein half the week was spent looking at the rains and then you had a couple of practice sessions, you go into the final. It's not that easy for the mental edge to be there or be switched on from ball one, and that's something we will learn from experience."
Reaching the final of a 10-team event can be viewed as a successful outcome in itself, but in the eyes of the coach, this result is only a stepping stone towards higher honours in the years to come.
"If this side can replicate what they did in Australia, it definitely augurs well. It gives a lot of confidence, not only to the girls who played there but also to the other girls who will feel that if somebody before them can do it, when they get there, they can also do it, regardless of age."
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