UP Warriorz. (Photo Source: Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)
Following a thumping victory over Mumbai Indians in their last match in the ongoing Women’s Premier League (WPL), UP Warriorz have moved a step closer to the playoffs. However, in order to secure it completely, the Alyssa Healy-led side will have to defeat Gujarat Giants on March 20 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. It will be interesting to see whether or not UP Warriorz can seal their own fate or if they have to rely on other results to figure out their playoff scenario.
Notably, UP managed to register a three-wicket win when the two teams last met in the competition. Thus, they will be confident, especially after a win against Mumbai in the last match. The think tank also made a bold call when they dropped youngster Shweta Sehrawat and replaced her with Parshavi Chopra. Now, amidst a lot of positives, there are some massive concerns as well. Will UP make more changes in the next match to address those? Let’s dissect –
Here’s UP Warriorz’ predicted XI for the match against Gujarat Giants:
Openers – Alyssa Healy (c & wk), Devika Vaidya
Alyssa Healy. (Photo Source: Twitter/WPL)
Skipper Alyssa Healy has blown hot and cold in the current season. She had shown in the earlier matches that she can change the complexion of a game at any point in time but currently, her form is a matter of concern for the franchise. Overall, the Australia international has scored 194 runs in six matches and going forward, she needs to improve as the 32-year-old is extremely vital for UP who are still fighting for a spot in the playoffs.
After Shweta Sehrawat failed to click as an opener, the team management promoted Devika Vaidya up in the order and even though that move worked brilliantly in the initial games, it has failed in the last couple of matches. The all-rounder has scored only 70 runs in six matches which doesn’t go well with a top-order batter. Thus, the 25-year-old needs to work extremely hard in order to retain her position at the top of the order.
Middle Order – Kiran Navgire, Simran Sheikh
Kiran Navgire. (Photo Source: Twitter)
After a stellar start in the tournament, Kiran Navgire lost her touch completely in the last few matches. In six games so far, the 28-year-old has scored only 106 runs and that needs to change immediately. Batting at number three, the Maharashtra-born cricketer needs to take more responsibility in order to help her team get a good start.
Coming to youngster Simran Sheikh, she hardly got a chance to prove herself in the middle and in the matches she did, the cricketer couldn’t justify her position. Now, with Shweta waiting in the wings, Simran will have to fight for her spot, otherwise the 20-year-old could easily get dropped from the playing XI.
All-rounders – Tahlia McGrath, Deepti Sharma, Grace Harris, Parshavi Chopra
Tahlia McGrath. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Tahlia McGrath, Deepti Sharma and Grace Harris are the main pillars of this side. Deepti has done a reasonably good job with the ball but has failed to step up with the bat. The 25-year-old has picked up nine wickets so far in the competition but has only managed to score 65 runs so far in the tournament. However, she has the capability to score some quick runs at the fag end of the match and that might help the franchise going ahead.
Meanwhile, Tahlia McGrath has been UP’s player of the tournament so far. Be it with the bat or with the ball, the Aussie cricketer has done a commendable job. Notably, McGrath has scored 180 runs in six matches and with that, she currently is the tenth-leading run-scorer of the tournament. She has the ability to change the game at any point and that has helped the team massively so far.
Coming to Grace Harris, the team management dropped her for Shabnim Ismail a couple of times but as things stand, they will probably not make the same mistake again. Grace has been phenomenal so far, scoring 144 runs in four matches. With that ball, even though she hasn’t picked up a lot of wickets, the Aussie international has been economical.
Parshavi Chopra was introduced in place of Shweta Sehrawat in the last match. Even though she was pretty average on her WPL debut, conceding 35 runs in four overs, the bowling all-rounder is likely to retain her place in the playing XI.
Bowlers – Sophie Ecclestone, Anjali Sarvani, Rajeshwari Gayakwad
Spin wizard Sophie Ecclestone has been UP’s wreaker-in-chief in the ongoing season. The English international has picked up 12 wickets in six matches so far and with that, she currently is the second-leading wicket-taker of the tournament. Now, as the tournament is soon approaching its business end, the 23-year-old will have the task of delivering in every game.
The Indian duo of Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Anjali Sarvani was brilliant in the last match. Gayakwad picked up two wickets while Anjali picked up one and was very economical. It’s a good sign for the team as their form was under the scanner for a long time.
UP Warriorz playing XI: Alyssa Healy (wk/c), Devika Vaidya, Kiran Navgire, Tahlia McGrath, Deepti Sharma, Grace Harris, Simran Shaikh, Parshavi Chopra, Sophie Ecclestone, Anjali Sarvani, Rajeshwari Gayakwad
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