One of the most awaited tournaments in the history of Indian cricket, the Women's Premier League is all set to commence on March 4, Saturday at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai, with the Mumbai Indians taking on Gujarat Giants in an evening encounter.
The five teams in the tournament will lock horns in a two-week-long competition, and Harmanpreet Kaur-led Mumbai and Beth Mooney-led Giants will script history once they set foot at the stadium for the opening clash.
With a chance to rewrite the records books in the inaugural edition and plenty of firepower across both teams, it promises to be a blockbuster and here are some of the tips that can help you create your fantasy team for this high-voltage clash.
In the two matches played thus far in the women's T20 international at the DY Patil Stadium, the average first-innings total is around the 170-run mark, and the average winning total is around 187 runs. The wicket gets better to bat on in the second innings, with the dew also playing a significant role in helping the ball come onto the bat.
Out of the 12 wickets to fall at this ground, the fast bowlers have been effective and scalped eight of them, which is 66.7 percent compared to four dismissals by the spinners. With the wicket conducive for strokeplay, the bowlers have conceded at an economy rate of 9 runs per over, and hence it will be a good idea to stack your team with batters and all-rounders.
While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
For small leagues: Ash Gardner (Captain), Nat Sciver-Brunt (vice-captain)
For grand leagues: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Beth Mooney (vice-captain)
Stats that matter
The Player of the tournament in the recently concluded T20 World Cup in South Africa, Ash Gardner will hold the key for the Gujarat Giants in this league.
The right-handed batter scored 110 runs and scalped ten wickets with her off-spin bowling, making her one of the top picks in your fantasy team.
The 25-year-old has a strike rate of 189.9 at the death overs (16-20), making her the player Mumbai would want to get rid of early in the innings.
The joint-second most expensive player in the league, along with Ash Gardner, Nat Sciver-Brunt was the star of England's campaign in the T20 World Cup.
The vice-captain of the England team scored 216 runs in five innings at an average of 72 and a strike rate of 141.2, making her a vital cog in the middle order of the Mumbai team.
The 30-year-old is the most consistent batter since the last edition of the T20 World Cup in Australia and amassed 407 runs in 14 innings at an average of 40.7, which is the second-best among batters in the middle order (4-7) with a minimum of 400 runs.
Grand League Punts
In the 2023 edition of the T20 World Cup, Beth Mooney was the third-highest run scorer, with 206 runs at a strike rate of 117.7 and an average of 51.5.
The southpaw was the player of the final against South Africa for her unbeaten 74 that laid a solid foundation for the side in their bid for a formidable first-innings total on a sluggish wicket.
Another essential pick in the fantasy XI will be Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur. The right-handed batter is coming into the league on the back of her heroic effort in the semi-final against Australia that almost helped India get over the line.
With 816 runs in 31 innings at an average of 32.64 and a strike rate of 120.7, Harmanpreet Kaur is the leading run-scorer among batters in the middle order (4-7) since the 2020 World Cup in Australia.
Here are the Top 10 Criclytics projections
Mumbai Indians: Yastika Bhatia (wk), Dhara Gujjar, Amelia Kerr, Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Natalie Sciver-Brunt, Amanjot Kaur, Humairaa Kazi, Pooja Vastrakar, Chloe Tryon, Neelam Bist, Isabelle Wong
Gujarat Giants: Sabbineni Meghana, Beth Mooney (Captain and wk), Annabel Sutherland, Deandra Dottin, Ashleigh Gardner, Harleen Deol, Dayalan Hemalatha, Sneh Rana, Hurley Gala, Monica Patel, Tanuja Kanwer