Euro 2020 Special

Ashleigh Gardner To Ellyse Perry: Top Five Players To Watch In The Women’s Indian T20 League

With the conclusion of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, all eyes now turn to the inaugural edition of the Women’s Indian T20 League, which is scheduled to start this Saturday. Team Gujarat will take on Team Mumbai in the opening match of the tournament, with 22 fixtures scheduled to be held this month in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. The tournament is expected to revolutionise the sport for women cricketers, who, despite immense talent, have flown under the radar for the past few years.

The successful bidding process for both Indian and overseas players in the auction held last month is an indicator of things to come, with a select few players expected to dominate the proceedings in the tournament. As the teams gear up to begin their campaign in their maiden Women’s Indian T20 League, here are five players to watch out for who will make the highest impact in the tournament:


Smriti Mandhana – Team Bangalore

Smriti Mandhana ended the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 as the tournament’s top-scorer for India, accumulating 151 runs in four games at an average of 37.75. Her best innings of the tournament came against Ireland in the group stages of the tournament, with the 26-year-old scoring a 56-ball 87 to put India ahead in the game. While not the best batter in the fray, Smriti Mandhana’s ability to adapt to the conditions and change her batting strategy has made her a versatile player for the Women in Blue.

Recognising her ability and popularity with the Indian fans, Team Bangalore loosened their purse in the auction to clinch the star’s services for a record ₹3.4 crore – the highest in the auction. Smriti Mandhana will lead Team Bangalore in the inaugural edition of the Women’s Indian T20 League, and it remains to be seen if India’s No. 18 can bring home a trophy to Bangalore before the men’s team does.


Ashleigh Gardner – Team Gujarat

Ashleigh Gardner’s stature in cricket continues to rise with each passing tournament, with the 25-year-old earning the Player of the Tournament award in the Women’s T20 World Cup. The Australian all-rounder dominated the tournament, scoring 110 runs at an average of 36.66 and taking 10 wickets at an average of 12.50, paving the way for Australia to lift their sixth T20 World Cup title. A big-match player, Ashleigh Gardner has shown numerous times that she can both bat and bowl under pressure, making her a valuable asset to any team in the death overs.

Team Gujarat went big on Australian stars in the auction, securing both Beth Mooney and Ashleigh Gardner at expensive valuations. Beth Mooney will lead the team during the tournament, but Ashleigh Gardner could be the match-winner for the team.


Harmanpreet Kaur – Team Mumbai

The lone warrior for Team India in their semi-final against Australia, Harmanpreet Kaur’s effort amid sickness was lauded by both pundits and fans alike. Harmanpreet Kaur has been the face of women’s cricket in India since Mithali Raj’s retirement and has successfully led the Women in Blue for the past five years. The Indian captain had a brilliant start to 2023 so far – scoring two fifties in eight games at an average of 37.83 in the shortest format of the game.

Harmanpreet Kaur has been appointed as the captain of the team by Team Mumbai. With Rohit Sharma already leading the men’s franchise, Team Mumbai have strategically picked Harmanpreet Kaur in the auction to attract a fan following from across the country. With the likes of Nat-Sciver Brunt, Amelia Kerr and Pooja Vastrakar in their team, Team Mumbai’s prospects in the tournament look bright.


Meg Lanning – Team Delhi

Meg Lanning has forged an all-time great team with Australia in the past few years, captaining her side to victory in the Women’s T20 World Cup for the third time in a row. A calm and composed leader, Meg Lanning’s steady demeanour on the field stands in stark contrast to the often vociferous men’s side. While Team Delhi are yet to announce their captain for the inaugural edition of the Women’s Indian T20 League, it will be a surprise if they don’t go with Meg Lanning as their primary choice.

While not a legendary player in her own right, Meg Lanning’s ability to lead a side filled with immense potential makes her the ideal choice for captaincy. With the likes of Jemimah Rodrigues, Marizanne Kapp and Shafali Verma on the side, Team Delhi have a solid opportunity to clinch the title this month.


Ellyse Perry – Team Bangalore

With the likes of Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Devine and Megan Schutt in their team, Team Bangalore are a force to reckon with already in the tournament. But what makes their team even more formidable is the presence of Elysse Perry – a veteran of the game and a highly reliable player. While the rise of youngsters has reduced her impact on the current Australian team, Ellysse Perry’s brilliant fielding in the T20 World Cup semi-final against India won the game for Australia.

As an all-rounder, Ellyse Perry is expected to form a core part of Team Bangalore’s plans in the tournament. Failure in knockout rounds has always been the bane for Virat Kohli and Co. in the Indian T20 League, and Ellyse Perry’s experience in big games will help the women’s team overcome the same odds in the tournament.




Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.