CWG 2022 | Gave away winning game on a platter, Mohammed Azharuddin delivers verdict on final
Mohammed Azharuddin went in harshly on the Indian team after their 9-run defeat in the CWG Final|
Mohammed Azharuddin did not hold back his words when commenting on the Commonwealth Games cricket final between India and Australia, stating India threw away a definite victory. The former cricketer believes India lost the thread while batting and could not apply common sense to secure the win.
The Indian Women's cricket team had a great maiden showing in the Commonwealth Games, managing to reach the final in Birmingham and bag the silver medal. The side was always expected to reach at least the semi-final, but the way they managed to overcome England to make it to the summit clash brought them a lot of plaudits. However, between them and the ultimate prize stood a resolute Australia who is the undisputed best WT20I side in the world and the winner of five out of seven World Cups played in the format so far.
Nevertheless, the Women in Blue bowled well in the match to restrict Australia to a par score of 161, setting themselves a gettable target. With the top four comprising of a mix of experience and young talent in the form of Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, it looked like an upset might be on the cards. The subcontinent side started off well, hammering two boundaries in the first over and taking initiative right out of the block.
The positive vibe did not last for long though, courtesy of some brilliant bowling by Darcy Brown in the second over. The seamer bowled her first four balls wide off the off stump, tempting Mandhana to chase after it and even giving away a boundary in the process. However, the trap kicked in on the fifth delivery when Brown rattled a bowl towards the leg stump catching the batswoman off guard, and sending the stump flying. A disappointing way to lose her wicket, Mandhana walked off angered only to see Verma get out in an even sillier manner the very next over.
The 18-year-old skied the first delivery of the third over only for Megan Schutt to drop a sitter. But the youngster did not learn a lesson and repeated the same mistake just three deliveries after, this time leading to a simple catch by Ashleigh Gardner. Nevertheless, India made a strong comeback through a flying 65 off 43 deliveries from Harmanpreet Kaur and a steady run-a-ball 33 from Jemimah Rodrigues. But the duo lost their wickets in quick succession at a crucial juncture with the team still needing 41 runs from 25 balls.
Thereon, no one stepped up and India went crashing down to a 9-run defeat. Former Indian cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin was highly critical of the team's batting, harshly criticizing them for giving away the advantage and ending up on the losing side.
"Rubbish batting by the Indian team. No common sense. Gave away a winning game on a platter," he tweeted.
Despite the unfavourable result, the Indian Women can take inspiration from their string of good performances at the tournament and gain confidence for better showings in the future.