Here are 8 Indian Women Cricketers that have the potential to address the gaps of the teams for IPL 2020.
IPL 2020 Auctions are around the corner, and we couldn’t control our excitement of analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of all the 8 teams before the auctions.
To be honest, no team is perfect on paper. RCB lack a quality opener, MI a good middle-order batsman, KKR a good Indian Pacer, and so on. While there is an abundance of overseas players to solve these gaps, it all boils down to having quality Indian players to address these gaps.
But, what if there were no quality Male cricketers available, and we are forced to look at the quality Indian Women Cricketers to solve these issues? While we know, it is practically impossible to replace male players with female players, but what if we ignore their gender, and select players purely on the basis of their capabilities.
Alright then, analyzing the gaps of these 8 teams, here are 8 Indian Women Cricketers who rightly fit into these Teams for IPL 2020 based on their capabilities.
Disclaimer: The article is a work of fiction. The objective of the article is to spread awareness about Women’s Cricket and IPL Teams’ capabilities. In no way does this article intend to insult IPL, IPL Teams, or the India Women Cricket Team.
#1: Sunrisers Hyderabad | Mithali Raj | Batswoman
An inconsistent middle-order has been a perennial problem for Sunrisers Hyderabad. The management has not been able to fix this in the last few seasons, and they are stuck with the same problem for IPL 2020.
Currently, they have only Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey as the quality options for the middle-order slot. Considering the abundance of quality overseas players, SRH definitely need a quality Indian middle-order player to solve this issue.
If we look at the current India Women Cricket Team, Mithali Raj looks the best bet for her experience and calm demeanor at the crease. Even though she is retired from the T20s, the current ODI Team captain, Mithali is the leading run-scorer for India in T20Is with a total of 2364 runs from 89 matches. She has 17 half-centuries to her name with the highest score of 97*.
Her immense experience would be an asset to the team. Additionally, she lives in Hyderabad, and the local flavor will work wonders for the 36-year-old.
#2: Royal Challengers Bangalore | Smriti Mandhana | Opener
Since the departure of Chris Gayle, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Quinton de Kock, KL Rahul, and others, RCB’s struggle with a solid opener has been a never-ending process.
They currently have only one regular opener in the form of Parthiv Patel. While Virat has often batted at the top, we all know that his best position is at No.3. Hence, a solid opener could actually fix a few issues for RCB.
Smriti Mandhana is one of the best opening batswomen going around in the entire cricketing fraternity. The 23-year-old has been very impressive in the shortest format of the game. Having played 62 T20Is, she has amassed a total of 1344 runs at a good strike-rate of 116.86.
Her attacking instincts are sure to get RCB off to a flying start on most occasions. This will allow the middle-order to play with more freedom. Most importantly, Smriti and Virat batting together will be a sight to behold for the Indian fans.
#3: Rajasthan Royals | Anuja Patil | Off-spinner
The Dark Horse, Rajasthan Royals have only one good Indian spinner in the squad in the form of Wrist spinner, Shreyas Gopal. The others like K Gowtham, Riyan Parag, and Mahipal Lomror are more of part-timers than full-time spinners. With Ish Sodhi too being a wrist spinner, the Team need a good off-spinner to complement Shreyas Gopal.
So, considering the current best options available in the Indian Women Team, Anuja Patil looks the best bet. The off-spinner, Anuja Patil has played 47 T20I games so far, and has picked up 43 wickets at an average of 22.88.
Her wily off-spins coupled with her accuracy on the pitch can result in a lot of wickets. Anuja is a good fielder, and keeps the batswomen in check while running for their runs.
#4: Mumbai Indians | Jemimah Rodrigues | Middle-order Batswoman
Defending Champions Mumbai Indians might not tinker too much with their squad for the upcoming season. However, if there is one area of improvement, it is the middle-order.
MI have only Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan as regular middle-order players, and others like Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, and Keiron Pollard are more of floaters. Hence, adding a good middle-order would be a wise option for Mumbai Indians.
Considering the options available, the dangerous, Jemimah Rodrigues looks the best bet to play for Mumbai Indians. Jemimah is now a consistent part of the Indian team. In T20Is, she boasts of a good strike rate of 121.05 in the 29 games she has played so far.
Overall, the 19-year-old has managed 667 runs, which also includes 12 huge sixes. She can switch between both modes of batting with ease, and that makes her a prized commodity for Mumbai Indians.
#5: Kolkata Knight Riders | Shikha Pandey | Pacer
KKR have struggled with their domestic fast-bowling resources in the last two seasons. While Kamlesh Nagerkoti and Shivam Mavi have had injury problems, Prasidh Krishna and Sandeep Warrier are inexperienced, and may not guarantee a consistent 14-game run in IPL 2020.
Even the overseas pace options aren’t exciting. Apart from Lockie Ferguson, the likes of Harry Gurney and Matthew Kelly aren’t known commodities. Hence, a good Indian pacer is the need of the hour for KKR.
Analyzing Indian Women Pacers, who better than Shikha Pandey to address this gap. The 30-year-old, Shikha Pandey has been the go-to bowler for India in recent years. So far, she has picked 23 wickets in the T20Is, and been India’s mainstay in the fast-bowling unit. Her medium-pace deliveries can be effective on the slow pitch at Eden Gardens; making her a quality addition to the attack.
#6: Kings XI Punjab | Harmanpreet Kaur | Batting All-rounder
KXIP have fielded a one-dimensional team in the previous two campaigns. Multi-functional players are scarce, and this has affected the team in crunch situations.
Their current all-rounder options include Sam Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Moises Henriques. While Sam and Ash are bowling all-rounders, Moises isn’t a viable option for KXIP with his lack of game practice.
The current T20I Captain, Harmanpreet Kaur can solve all of this with the presence in this team with her all-round abilities. Harmanpreet is an explosive batswoman, and a useful bowler. Having played 100 T20I games, Harmanpreet has scored 2004 runs, and has taken 28 wickets.
Also, with KXIP struggling for leadership duties, she can be a potent option to captain the side. With her being a Punjabi, KXIP could finally get a player whom the fans can relate to, in a better way.
#7: Delhi Capitals | Deepti Sharma | Finisher
Delhi Capitals boasts one of the best domestic contingents in the IPL. The team has depth in almost every department except for the all-rounders section. Ever since Delhi Capitals traded Sherfane Rutherford to Mumbai Indians, the team has created a huge gap for a proper finisher.
If we analyze the Indian Women Cricket Team, Deepti Sharma looks a potent finisher that can solve the gap for Delhi Capitals. Her exploits in the limited-overs format are well-known in the cricketing circles. She is a technically proficient batswoman with the ability to take on the bowling at will.
Deepti is also a handy off-spinner. Although relatively inexperienced in T20s, her experience in the 50-over format can be of use to many teams. Her batting average of 43.68 in ODIs is proof of the same. If slotted below Rishabh Pant in the batting order, Deepti can actually come good for the Delhi-based franchise.
#8: Chennai Super Kings | Poonam Yadav | Wrist-spinner
Chennai Super Kings rely on spin-friendly wickets pretty heavily. While Tahir solved most of their issues last season, the reliance on overseas spinners can be problematic. The other spinners, Harbhajan Singh and Karn Sharma are off their prime, hence, CSK might look for a quality spinner in the upcoming IPL 2020 Auctions.
Poonam Yadav has been Harmanpreet Kaur’s trump card to take wickets in the T20 format. Poonam has a splendid record of picking 81 wickets in the 58 games she has played so far. She deceives most batswomen with her flight, and has a terrific googly in her armory too. If CSK gets a chance to pick a woman cricketer, it has to be Poonam Yadav.
So, these are the 8 Indian Women Cricketers who rightly fit into the IPL Teams based on their capabilities. While it is practically not possible to see these Women Cricketers playing in the IPL, we wish BCCI invests more in the Women’s T20 Challenge to grow it like the Indian Premier League.
Thanks for reading. Which of the above-mentioned Indian women cricketers would you like to see in the IPL?
Nesara is an Author at AK4Tsay1 Cricket. He is an Engineer by profession. Watching Cricket, Football & Movies is one of his topmost priorities within the day.