Aussie, India stars turn attentions to WBBL
Former Australia leg-spinner Kristen Beams analyses how the stars from an entertaining international series will impact WBBL|07
After Australia took the chocolates against India, it is time to turn our attention to the Weber WBBL, but how will the Australian and Indian players impact the tournament? Let's take a look at where the international players will call home over the next six weeks.
Adelaide Strikers – Tahlia McGrath & Darcie Brown
McGrath is a jet. She had a great series, but what impressed me the most was that she stood up when her side was under the pump. That makes her numbers even more impressive.
She will play a lead role for the Strikers with both bat and ball. With the ball it will be her ability to get swing in the Powerplay but also bowl at the death with great change ups.
From a batting perspective she will be aiming to replicate what she achieved during the recent series but up the order, allowing her more time to get into her work.
Then there is Darcie, who bowled fast and swung the ball. There is so much to like about her bowling and she will be better for the experience. She will be hoping for some greenish wickets in Hobart early to allow her to trouble batters with both pace and swing.
She's a genuine weapon and how teams go about playing her will be really interesting to watch. One thing is for certain she has the ability to take a lot of wickets in the Powerplay!
Brisbane Heat – Poonam Yadav
A late signing for the Brisbane Heat after the withdrawal of Amelia Kerr, and whilst it is a like-for-like (they are both leg-spinners), they go about their craft differently. Poonam will be slower in the air than Kerr and this has been challenging for batters all over the world, and we have not seen a lot of slower spin the WBBL to date.
But the key to Poonam's success will her wrong'un; she can beat both sides of the bat making it challenging to not only pick, but use your feet too.
Hobart Hurricanes – Nicola Carey, Richa Gosh & Tayla Vlaeminck
If there was a fielder of the series, I'm giving that award to Nicola Carey. She continues to grow and develop as a genuine allrounder and she will need to play a role with both bat and ball if the Hurricanes are to be successful in WBBL|07. Great change ups with the ball, I'd like to see her bowl in each phase of the game.
Teenager Richa Ghosh is an exciting talent, signed by the Hurricanes to clear the rope and we witnessed her do that against Australia. Handy with gloves, she will play back up 'keeper to skipper Rachel Priest.
And then there is Tayla Vlaeminck, returning to the Australian line-up during the T20s, we saw a player who was itching to be out there and bowl fast. From what I saw it is exciting times for Hurricanes fans. How many games she will be able to play will be telling for the Hurricanes as no batter wants to face 125kph from a bowler who loves to bowl bumpers.
Melbourne Renegades – Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham, Harmanpreet Kaur & Jemimah Rodrigues
The Renegades had plenty of players in action across the Australia v India series and the return of Harmanpreet Kaur from injury was timely. She will get better and better with more time in the middle under her belt, and will give them another spin option with the ball.
And speaking of spin, the Molineux-Wareham combination will be critical to their success. Both players have been with the Renegades from the start and know each other so well, which is gold for Molineux who takes over the captaincy.
Molineux was Meg Lanning's go-to bowler throughout the India series and did everything the captain asked of her. This combination is so good because they both offer plenty with the bat – Molineux has opened consistently for the Renegades and I would not be surprised (and would love to see) Wareham batting higher as she can find the boundary with ease.
Melbourne Stars – Meg Lanning & Annabel Sutherland
The Australia skipper will have a big job to do in WBBL|07. She will be the glue that holds the Stars' batting innings together and allows the likes of Elyse Villani and England's Maia Bouchier to play with freedom.
In my eyes Lanning is an allrounder – all good captains are. Making good decisions, bowling changes and getting the field settings right is just as handy (if not more so) than being able to bowl some overs.
Annabel Sutherland will get to play a lead role and it's the perfect time for her to take the next step. A genuine allrounder in this team she will need to fill the void left by Nat Sciver and Katherine Brunt. She is a player on the rise and we saw this during the recent series as she made her Test debut and looked at home wearing the Baggy Green.
Perth Scorchers – Beth Mooney
Beth Mooney was outstanding and that is why she has been freshly minted as the ICC's world No.1 T20 batter. Her ability to play the role that is needed whether that be accumulating runs or the power game makes her consistent in a very inconsistent form of the game. In combination with Sophie Devine they are a bowler's worst nightmare, especially with only two fielders out in the Powerplay
Sydney Sixers – Shafali Verma, Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry, Ash Gardener & Stella Campbell
The Sixers have secured Shefali Verma and boast two of the top six batters on the ICC's T20 rankings in Verma (second) and Alyssa Healy (sixth).
And then oppositions still have to contend with Ash Gardener, and Ellyse Perry.
But it's not just runs that make the Sixers such a strong line-up, they have wicket taking bowlers everywhere you look and one of the most exciting is Stella Campbell.
Like Darcie Brown, she will be better for the experience of playing international cricket and I expect they will both hit the ground running. The Campbell and Perry opening bowling combination is as exciting as the Vlaeminck and Vakarewa combination for the Hurricanes. Will batters try and survive the Powerplay or go hard?
Sydney Thunder – Rachael Haynes, Smitri Mandana, Deepti Sharma, Hannah Darlington
Experience is something you cannot buy off the shelf, like a fine wine…. There are many cliches to describe Rachael Haynes, who is probably my favourite cricketer. I loved being on her team; calm, measured, competitive and fun. Oh, and she is an outstanding batter and fielder.
Speaking of left handers who can dominate, Smirti Mandana is a big signing for the Thunder. Her ability to find the boundary a big strength, and she did plenty of damage through the ODI component with an average of 41.
Another Indian player who knows how to find the boundary is Deepti Sharma. She can be unconventional at times, but very effective, and will play a role with bat and ball.
I love her competitiveness, but she might want to keep the Mankad attempts down as skippers are under the pump for time in the WBBL.
Hannah Darlington was cool and calm under pressure as she made her international debut and her WBBL record is outstanding. She will complement the Thunder bowlers and be able to do a job in each phase of the game.
There's no doubt the players who were part of the CommBank Series will dominate this WBBL as there is no better preparation than competing.
In combination with those who played in the Hundred over the winter, it makes for a great competition that could hit great heights right from the first game.
And just think, we haven't mentioned so many talented international and domestic players yet. Strap yourselves in, WBBL|07 is going to be something special.
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