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WPL 2024 - Six lesser known Indian players to look out for

Last updated on 21 Feb 2024 | 11:53 PM
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WPL 2024 - Six lesser known Indian players to look out for

From a left-arm wristspinner to a top-order hitter and a pace-bowling allrounder - there are quite a few exciting upcoming domestic talents in WPL this year

It seems like yesterday that Mumbai Indians were being crowned as inaugural champions of the Women’s Premier League (WPL). In its first edition itself, the WPL gave the platform to India’s rich domestic talent and so many of them grabbed those opportunities with both hands. 

Shreyanka Patil, Kanika Ahuja, and Saika Ishaque have already graduated to senior India colours from their respective red and blue franchise jerseys. This year, many such talents are waiting for the season to begin in hardly more than 24 hours to show what they’ve got. 

So we have compiled a list of six such domestic talents from India for you who have the wherewithal to create a strong buzz this season with their performances. Let’s dive right into that list!

Amandeep Kaur

Leg spinners are a rare breed in women's cricket. But left-arm leg spinners are their funkier cousins who have been almost on the verge of extinction.

The 20-year-old Amandeep Kaur, who plays for Haryana, is one such practitioner of cricket’s most unique bowling style. And she doesn’t just practice it. She is good enough at it to warrant selection in the richest women’s T20 league in the world. The Mumbai Indians scouts deserve full credit for that. 

Very few have seen her play live, but it’s clear from this video that her action is quite strong, and she can give the ball a proper rip. Moreover, cricket is a game of angles. And as a left-arm leg spinner, Amandeep can generate unique angles at the point of delivery and the batters won’t be able to read which way the ball will turn quickly. 

Her performances in the recent domestic tournaments prove her mettle. 17 wickets in the recently concluded Under-23 One Day Trophy, where her side Haryana won the tournament, and her nine wickets at an average of 10.7 in the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy are testament to her ability. 

Mumbai Indians have a big trump card in Amandeep Kaur that they can unleash at any point in the tournament. With the kind of all-round depth MI have, they can certainly afford to try their new exotic weapon at will during the tournament. 

Image courtesy - Amandeep Kaur's Instagram

Shubha Satheesh

She batted during just one Test match for India, and it was clear that Shubha Satheesh was meant for the level. Her finger injury made it impossible for her to play more for India, but that one innings had enough elements that one looks for in an international-level batter. The balance, the composure, the confidence in her drives - everything you expect from a classy top-order batter is present in Shubha’s batting. 

But that’s not all that is about her. 

She bowls pace as well and is quite good at it too! 

She’s still a batter first, who can bowl some seam. However, that wouldn’t stop Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) from utilising her in multiple roles. Moreover, with RCB’s middle order being right-hand heavy (Sophie Devine, Ellyse Perry, and Richa Ghosh) and the only left-hander in the lower-middle order (Kanika Ahuja) being ruled out of the tournament, Shubha has more than a decent chance of making to the RCB first eleven. 

Amidst all this, one can easily forget her elite fielding skills and athleticism. Shubha Satheesh is just a complete package as a cricketer. RCB did quite well in getting her during the auction. They’ll do even better to utilise her well in the tournament. 

Vrinda Dinesh

211 runs in the Senior Women’s Trophy at a strike rate of 154.01. 281 runs in the Under-23 T20 Trophy at a strike rate of 134.4.

These numbers almost justify Shreyanka Patil calling Vrinda Dinesh the domestic talent to watch out for before the second WPL Auction and then the UP Warriorz spending 1.3 crores on the prolific Karnatak batter. 

A Bangalorean through and through, she made head turns at the junior international level when she played an influential role (scoring 36 off just 29) in helping India A win the Women’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup against Bangladesh A. 

Also read - Vrinda Dinesh - 'Looking forward to the vibe at the Chinnaswamy'

She bats in the top order for Karnataka, and even in the UP Warriorz setup, she’ll definitely be amongst the top candidates being considered to open the batting with Alyssa Healy or bat at three. The Warriorz are already a top-order heavy setup, and hence Vrinda might just get the license to go berserk from ball one, and the 22-year-old seems ever-ready for it. 

Parshavi Chopra 

The girl from Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh, who idolises Shane Warne, sprung into the limelight when she was the second-highest wicket-taker in the inaugural ICC Women’s Under-19 World Cup where her team emerged victorious. 

Even there, it was visible that as a leg spinner, Parshavi Chopra was quite deceptive both in the air and off the pitch, and her deliveries proved too hard to read for most of the Under-19 girls. Hence, when UP Warriorz picked her for her base price in the WPL Auction, heads turned. 

However, when she got to take the field for the Warriorz, it was clear that she had the talent and the temperament to be at the level. She picked up three wickets in four games at an economy of 8.1 and an average of 32.66. 

She is still just 17 years old, and the sky is her limit. She already has a lethal googly in her armour that she developed after the Under-19 World Cup. In a short career, she has shown the capability to reinvent herself continuously. Otherwise, someone who started off as a pacer wouldn’t have turned into such a good leg spinner at 17. 

If she improves her pace and develops more variations as she goes on in her career, Parshavi will definitely be a player to look out for.

 Ashwani Kumari

Pace-bowling all-rounders are rare in Indian women’s cricket. Pace bowling all-rounders who can properly tonk the ball are rarer. Ashwani Kumari from Jharkhand is of the latter kind. 

She was picked up by Gujarat Giants for 35 lakhs in the first edition of the tournament, but the opportunities didn’t come her way. This time, the Delhi Capitals have bought her in the auction, and the way their team is shaping up, there’s a good chance that Ashwani might find herself battling as a pinch hitter lower down the order and bowling a few overs in the middle. 

She has had a decent domestic season with 153 runs in seven games at the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy in 2023. However, her performance with the ball needs some backing, and the Capitals would like to ensure that Ashwani is ready to go, with all guns blazing when the tournament begins. It's not every day that you get an Indian player like her in your squad. 

Image courtesy - Ashwani Kumari's Instagram

Asha Sobhana

Asha Sobhana might have picked up only five wickets in five games in the last edition of the WPL, but rewind that season a bit, and you’ll find that she was one of the rare positives for RCB when nothing was going right for them in the league. 

Born in Kerala, Asha is a strong leg spinner who uses a lot of body in her action. As a result, she possesses a very strong leg break along with a deceptive googly that turns in sharply for the right-handed batters. Chinnaswamy is a ground where there’s always something for the spinners who are willing to give the ball a rip. Asha is one such bowler. 

Recently, she picked up 16 wickets in seven games for Puducherry in the Senior Women’s ODI Trophy and was amongst the only two players (the other one is Sayali Satghare who’ll play for the Giants) to score more than 200 runs with the bat and take ten or more wickets with the ball in the tournament. Hence, she can also bat down the order and hit the ball a long way if necessary. 

She forms a formidable spin bowling pair for the RCB along with the senior pro Ekta Bisht. Asha’s leggies must do their magic if they need a good season.

Images courtesy - Asha Sobhana's Instagram 


Honourable Mentions - Jintimani Kalita, Sayali Satghare 

*Cover image courtesy - Vrinda Dinesh's instagram

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