Match Example – RCB Women vs DC Women, Women’s Premier League 2022/23, 2nd match

Big picture

Smriti Mandhana vs Jemimah Rodrigues. Ellyse Perry vs. Meg Lanning. Dane van Niekerk against Marizanne Kapp. Brace yourself. And it will all happen in front of a sellout crowd at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium as Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Delhi Capitals on Sunday.

Both sides have superstar captains. Mandhana, the most expensive player in the inaugural auction at INR 3.4 crore, will lead the Royal Challengers, who look the most balanced side of the tournament. In Lanning, Capitals have a brilliant captain, who comes into the tournament a week after leading Australia to their sixth T20 World Cup title. Prior to the WPL, she said she wants to instill that winning culture in this Capitals side.

A few days before the tournament following the T20 World Cup in South Africa, a number of international names have joined their respective teams. While Mandhana wants to use her knowledge of the Indian domestic players to put together a solid XI, Lanning said she would lean on her teammates Rodrigues and Shafali Varma to tackle the younger and unknown players.

Players to watch

Both teams have an enviable mix of foreign and Indian talent. Royal Challengers have Richa Ghosh and Renuka Singh, India’s two high-profile internationals. Capital cities, meanwhile, have Shafali, Poonam Yadav and Radha Yadav.

Perry, van Niekerk, Heather Knight, Sophie Devine, Erin Burns and Megan Schutt are the overseas options on the Royal Challengers side, meaning team management will still have some qualms about picking just four from this star-studded list. They have Captain Mandhana to do the heavy lifting from the top, while Devine, Perry, Ghosh and van Niekerk are expected to provide the middle order firepower. While the Royal Challengers pace bowling unit looks solid with Schutt, Renuka and Perry, they don’t have an experienced Indian spinner in their ranks.

Capitals strong top position has Shafali, Rodrigues and Lanning, followed by Kapp and Taniya Bhatia. However, they will have to choose from a largely inexperienced pace bowling unit with the exception of Shikha Pandey and Kapp. However, they have the option to bring in Tara Norris, a left arm pacemaker from the US, an associate player who can be included as the fifth foreign player in the XI. Among the spin bowling options, Capitals have Radha Yadav, Jess Jonassen and Poonam Yadav.

Playing XIs

Capitals of Delhi (possibly): 1 Shafali Verma, 2 Jemimah Rodrigues, 3 Meg Lanning (capt), 4 Marizanne Kapp, 5 Laura Harris, 6 Jasia Akhter, 7 Taniya Bhatia (wk), 8 Jess Jonassen, 9 Radha Yadav, 10 Shikha Pandey, 11Tara Norris

Royal Challengers Bangalore (possible): 1 Smriti Mandhana (capt), 2 Disha Kasat, 3 Sophie Devine, 4 Ellyse Perry, 5 Dane van Niekerk, 6 Richa Ghosh (wk), 7 Komal Zanzad/Asha Shobhana, 8 Preeti Bose, 9 Megan Schutt, 10 Renuka Singh, 10 Renuka Ahuja/Shreyanka Patil

Statistics and tidbits

  • Perry had finished as the second highest points scorer on Australia’s T20I series tour of India in December 2022
  • Mandhana has scored 831 runs, the most in women’s T20Is since January 2022
  • This game will feature three main players who were part of India’s U-19 World Cup winning squad: Shafali, Titas Sadhu and Ghosh.
  • Quotes

    “I like winning, I’m very competitive and I’m coming here to help Delhi win as many games as possible. It would be great [to win]probably every team thinks the same way, but we’re doing our best, and the biggest challenge is getting everyone together and making sure we work as a team.”
    Captain of the capital city of Delhi Mega Lanning about how she wants to lead the new side

    “I just don’t like the kind of comparison because what he’s accomplished is amazing, and I hope I can get to that level. But I’m nowhere near him. What he’s accomplished for this franchise, I want please try that.”
    Captain Royal Challengers Smriti Mandhana wants to emulate Virat Kohli’s success with the franchise

    Sruthi Ravindranath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo


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