The coach is an Australian. The team’s two biggest buys are Aussies. And, there are another two from Down Under.
But then, Gujarat Giants just went for the best players at the auction. And Australia happens to be, by some distance, the best women’s cricket team on the planet. The latest proof of that came as recently as on Sunday at Cape Town, where Australia won its sixth Women’s T20 World Cup.
Money well spent!
No other team in the WPL has as strong an Australian flavour. The Giants, in fact, spent ₹5.2 crore —nearly half its purse — on two Australian stars. When you look at the quality and current form of the duo, you may not actually want to call it overspending. Ashleigh Gardner was named best player of the T20 World Cup in South Africa, while Beth Mooney was player of the final.
Mooney is a phenomenal batter. She is remarkably consistent, averaging 52.45 in ODIs and 40.51 in T20Is. Not many can pace an innings the way she does; case in point being the innings on the slow track in the World Cup final.
A day after her heroics, Mooney was named the Giants captain. Joining her in the batting line-up are the West Indies’ most capped woman international Deandra Dottin, Sophia Dunkley from England and the Indian pair of S. Meghana and D. Hemalatha.
Dottin, who — as if taking a cue from some of the male Caribbean players — has retired from international cricket but continues to appear in leagues across the world, is a ferocious hitter and handy with her seam bowling.
The team has also roped in another overseas seaming all-rounder in the form of Annabel Sutherland.
Indian spinning all-rounders Sneh Rana and Harleen Deol will have crucial roles to play. Australian leg-spinner Georgia Wareham is another option in the slow-bowling department, which looks quite strong.
The Giants, it seems, aren’t betting heavily on seam. So Monica Patel and Mansi Joshi, neither of whom has been part of the Indian team of late, may get opportunities to show their skills.