Inaugural edition has five strong teams with Royal Challengers Bangalore Women the outright favourites
The much-awaited Women’s Premier League is all set to get underway on March 4 with top women cricketers in action. Already hailed to be the biggest women’s league in the world, the WPL will feature five teams – Delhi Capitals, Gujarat Giants, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and UP Warriorz.
The five franchises will play each other in a double round-robin format, with the table-toppers advancing through to the final directly. The second and third-placed teams will clash in the Eliminator for the second spot in the final. The entirety of the tournament will take place at two venues in Mumbai – Brabourne and D. Y. Patil Stadium.
Before the WPL 2023 begins, let’s take a look at how the teams fare in the betting market, who the favourites are and who could be the dark horse.
WPL 2023 Favourites
Royal Challengers Bangalore are perhaps the best side on paper
Royal Challengers Bangalore are perhaps the best side on paper and are strong favourites to win the title. They have a strong core of stalwarts such as Smriti Mandhana, Ellyse Perry, Heather Knight, Megan Schutt, Sophie Devine and India’s frontline pacer Renuka Singh. Young Richa Ghosh has also developed into a reliable finisher. However, RCB do lack experienced spinners and it could make a difference.
Delhi Capitals have a balanced side
Delhi Capitals seem to have got their auction spot on. They have Shafali Verma and Alice Capsey at the top while a middle order of Meg Lanning, Jemimah Rodrigues and Marizanne Kapp is as good as it gets. Laura Harris adds immense power down the order. In Shikha Pandey, Tara Norris and Kapp, they have good pace options. Radha Yadav and Poonam Yadav form an experienced spin duo. Overall, Delhi could have a great season and are strong challengers to win the title.
Mumbai Indians could be the dark horse with quality all-rounders
At first glance, Mumbai Indians don’t have many big players barring Harmanpreet Kaur and Nat Sciver-Brunt. But they do have quality. The likes of Hayley Matthews, Amelia Kerr, Kaur, Sciver-Brunt and Pooja Vastrakar cover most of the bases in both batting and bowling departments. They also have good options in Sonam Yadav and Chloe Tryon. Mumbai Indians Women could be dark horses to win the inaugural edition…
Ashleigh Gardner is one of the most valuable players in the game with her all-round skill set. She backed her ‘Player of the tournament’ performance in the WBBL with another POTT in the recently concluded T20 World Cup. She claimed 10 wickets in six games at an economy of 6.25 while also scoring 110 runs at 36 average and 119 strike rate.
Smriti Mandhana was the most expensive player in the inaugural WPL auction. The left hander is one of the best batters in the game and should enjoy the good batting surfaces in Mumbai. She has amassed over 4900 runs in T20 cricket at an average of 28 while striking at nearly 130.
Tahlia McGrath is one of the best hitters in the game and can be relied upon as a medium pacer. The Australian has scored over 850 runs since the beginning of 2022, averaging 31 at a strike rate of around 130. McGrath has also picked 19 wickets. Expect her to get enough game-time for UP Warriorz with both bat and ball.
WPL 2023 Match Predictions
Gujarat Giants vs Mumbai Indians
The Women’s Premier League 2023 will kick off with a clash between Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians women at D. Y. Patil Stadium on March 4. Gujarat have odds of 2.00, while we predict Mumbai Indians will win this match at 1.80.
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Capitals
Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals women will lock horns in the second match of the WPL 2023 at Brabourne Stadium on March 5. Both sides are rich in quality but RCB have a slight edge. Back RCB Women to win this fixture at 1.78!