The players’ auction for the first-ever Women’s T20 League took place on Monday at the Jio World Centre in Mumbai. The auction, conducted by Mallika Sagar, saw many star players bag eye-raising price tags, but it also surprised everyone in the room when some of the star faces of the game went unsold.
With many star players like Suzie Bates and Danielle Wyatt going unsold, what could the best unsold XI from Monday’s auction look like? Here’s an attempt at fielding out a workable combination. Note that this XI will not follow the conventional rules associated with playing four overseas players in the Playing XI.
Danielle Wyatt: To open the batting for this XI, we have England’s, Danielle Wyatt. The T20 specialist going unsold was a major surprise in the auction. She bats at an average of 21.27 at a strike rate of 124.50.
Laura Wolvaardt: Alongside Wyatt, Laura Wolvaardt is the natural pick for her opening partner. The South African has been an opening batter and is an expert in anchoring innings and giving her side a great start.
Chamari Athapaththu (c): At number 3, we have the captain for this XI, Chamari Athapaththu. A top-order batter and a handy off-break bowler, she has a ton of experience in captaining sides to glory. She fits the bill for a solid number 3 batter.
Middle-Order, Allrounders and Wicketkeeper
Suzie Bates: Suzie Bates has the experience of batting higher up in the order alongside maintaining her reputation as an allrounder. She can be a great choice at number 4, and her medium-fast-pace bowling can be another weapon in the pocket.
Sune Luus: Another expert at innings-building, Sune Luus would be the best player at number 5 to help this XI in case the top-order fails to perform. Her strike rate may be slightly low by T20 standards, but her run-scoring has always been consistent.
Amy Jones (wk): Amy Jones would be the next batter in the middle order; her big-hitting and consistent average make her a natural choice. She’d also be handling the gloves behind the stumps.
Katherine Sciver-Brunt: A pure fast-bowling allrounder who can still contribute handily with the willow at a decent strike rate of 113.68, Katherine Sciver-Brunt would be the next player in this XI.
Alana King: The first leg-spinner of this XI is Alana King, who keeps up wickets at an average of 13.50 in WT20Is. Not to forget, she can also score some crucial runs down the order.
Lea Tahuhu: Lea Tahuhu would be one of the front-line pacers of this XI in charge of bowling the opening and the depth overs. Her bowling average is a brilliant 9.41 in WT20Is, while she can bat at an average nearing 20 in WT20Is.
Meghna Singh: The next pacer of the XI is India’s, Meghna Singh. She has proven herself in the limited WODIs that she has featured in but has yet to prove her worth in the shortest format. However, her clinical economy suggests she can be an excellent addition to this XI.
Afy Fletcher: The final player in the XI is the economical Afy Fletcher from West Indies. She can restrict the run-flow in the middle overs, and having a leg-spinner like her can benefit the final composition of this XI.