Brett’s watch list: Women’s Indian T20 League takes the spotlight
The Women’s Indian T20 League is all set to take place in Sharjah between three franchises led by Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Mithali Raj. The tournament is slated to begin from November 4 and here, we have a look at a few players who I feel will have a major say in determining how their respective team fares.
A Virender Sehwag fan, Harmanpreet Kaur’s batting philosophy is similar to that of her idol. Explosive with the bat, the Indian all-rounder is capable of destroying any bowling line-up on her day and has made 2,186 runs in 114 T20Is. She loves scoring her runs quickly and has the experience of playing in foreign T20 leagues, having featured in the Women's Big Bash League in the past. Handy with the ball as well, she’s claimed 29 wickets in T20Is and boasts an average of 23.41.
A talented youngster from whom a lot is expected, right-hand bat Jemimah Rodrigues is regarded by many as one of the most gifted players in the side at present. One for the future, Jemimah exudes confidence at the crease. She’s already scored six fifties for India in T20Is and has made 930 runs from 44 matches at a strike rate of 111.24.
Just the second Indian woman to feature in a foreign T20 league, Smriti Mandhana is a World Cup centurion and will be one of the most feared batters in the tournament. A huge threat to opposition bowlers, she’s scored four ODI tons and is averaging 43.08 having made 2,025 runs in 51 matches. A boundary-finder, she’s made 12 fifties, 1,716 runs and boasts an impressive strike rate of 119.41 in T20Is, which is something that opposition bowlers should be wary of.
A Hall of Fame inductee, Jhulan Goswami was deemed as the fastest bowler in the women’s game a few years back. The all-time leading wicket-taker (225) in ODI cricket for women, Goswami’s ability to make the ball do the talking can strike fear into the heart of the best of batters. Her bowling average of 16.62 in Tests, 21.48 in ODIs and 21.94 in T20Is is a testament to her ability with the ball, and it’s worth mentioning that she’s no mug with the bat either.
Indian cricket’s greatest woman batter Mithali Raj needs no introduction. While she has innumerable milestones that can be listed out, what separates her from the rest is her consistency. Her average of 51.00 in Tests, 50.64 in ODIs and 37.52 in T20Is speaks volumes about her ability. Like Goswami, Mithali also tops an all-time leaderboard in ODIs. Her 6,888 runs in ODIs is the most by any player in the history of women’s cricket and it will be interesting to see how she fares in the upcoming tournament.
Another bowler to keep an eye on in the tournament besides Goswami is Ekta Bisht. A slow left-arm orthodox spinner who gets her fair share of wickets in the limited-over formats, Bisht will be hoping for a better tournament than she had last year when she claimed just two wickets in three games. More than capable of inflicting damage on opposition batting line-ups, Ekta heads into the women’s T20 tournament with 53 scalps at an average of 14.71 in T20Is.
Feature image courtesy: Indian T20 League