The Women's T20 Challenge lived up to all the hype and expectations of the fans of women's cricket as the opening match between the defending champions, Supernovas and Velocity ended in a nail-biting manner.
The girls in purple recorded their first-ever win against Supernovas by five wickets. Upbeat after a thrilling win and with the momentum well and truly on their side, they take on the third team in the competition, the Trailblazers.
Led by Smriti Mandhana, the team missed out on a place in the final of the last edition due to low Net Run Rate and will be looking to turn things around in order to clinch their maiden IPL title.
Here we take a look at the detailed analysis of their squad for this tournament:
Strength - The bowling unit
Jhulan Goswami will be the leader of the pack as far as the bowling department is concerned. The team is also bolstered by the inclusion of the number one ranked bowler in the world, Sophie Ecclestone. The tall left-arm spinner has emerged as one of the most promising spinners in the international arena. She was one of the key players for England in the recently-concluded World T20 as she picked up 8 wickets in the four matches with an economy rate of under 3.5.
Weakness - Lack of firepower in the middle order
The batting unit is heavily reliant on Smriti Mandhana and Deandra Dottin to shoulder the bulk of the responsibility. The duo with years of international exposure and experience will be the key to the chances of the Trailblazers.
The all-rounders in Deepti Sharma and Harleen Deol have the ability to rotate the strike and anchor the innings. However, a closer look at the squad helps us identify one major issue that can be the reason for their downfall.
The team does not have powerful strikers of the ball and will be struggling to find someone who can play the role of an aggressor or a finisher in the back end of the innings.
Opportunity - The emergence of young domestic talent
The tournament will be an ideal platform for someone like Richa Ghosh to put up some consistent performances and cement her place in the Indian team.
At the age of 16, the right-handed batter was picked in the Indian team for the Tri-Nation series and the Women's World T20 held in Australia earlier this year.
A freak injury to Taniya Bhatia in the final of the mega event meant Ghosh was the first player in the world to play as a concussion substitute in the shortest format of the game.
Known for her free-flowing strokeplay, the youngster will look to make the most of this opportunity and create an impact in this much-awaited tournament.
Threat - Over dependency on Smriti Mandhana
Apart from Smriti Mandhana and Deandra Dottin, the batting line-up of the Trailblazers lacks enough experience and exposure at the highest level.
With a young and fragile middle order, the onus will be on the captain to not only play her natural game but also to make sure that she bats through the innings to guide the team to a decent first inning total or set up the run chase.Published 05 Nov 2020, 13:40 IST