Match Preview – GG Women vs DC Women, Women’s Premier League 2022/23, 9th Match

Match Preview - GG Women vs DC Women, Women's Premier League 2022/23, 9th Match

Big picture: Giants eye back-to-back wins

Gujarat Giants were in the news for all the wrong reasons at the start of the WPL.

First the mystery around Deandra Dottin’s “medical condition”, which was followed by her rebuff on social media. Then Beth Mooney’s injury in their tournament opener, followed by long suspense over her availability.
Then, Sneh Rana was named stand-in captain before a social-media gaffe that suggested Harleen Deol might be the new captain sent tongues wagging. Some teams go through that much drama over an entire season. But, that’s all in the past.
Rana has been firmly handed the reins, Laura Wolvaardt has come in as Mooney’s replacement, and there seems to be a settled look about the team that an emphatic victory can bring about.
Sophia Dunkley, who may have not played had Mooney been fit, set the stage alight with an 18-ball half-century in their previous game, while Harleen and D Hemalatha have shown spark in each of the three games they’ve played. If S Meghana can fire at the top of the order, the collective batting might they have could challenge Delhi Capitals as they aim for back-to-back wins.
Royal Challengers Bangalore losing a fourth straight game has meant the gulf between them and the other four teams has become bigger. If Giants win on Saturday, they will firmly be back in contention for the playoffs.
Capitals have one of the most well-rounded units in the competition, but they were given a massive reality check by Mumbai Indians. Meg Lanning battled hard, but the rest of the batting unit collapsed around her. That said, they would rather have that one off game out of the way now than during the knockouts.
Shafali Verma’s approach has largely been refreshing, far different to the diffidence we saw at the T20 World Cup. Jemimah Rodrigues, who helped deliver their opening win, has been putting together key contributions. But there is a soft underbelly to their lower middle order. In Minnu Mani, Taniya Bhatia and Radha Yadav, there’s not much batting depth beyond the superstars. There in lies a chance for Giants.

Players to watch: Pandey and Meghana

Remember that devious inswinger to clean bowl Alyssa Healy from a couple of years ago? That’s the version of Shikha Pandey the Capitals would love to see with the new ball. So far, there has been little swing and movement on offer for her. And without those two elements, Pandey has struggled a bit. She takes great pride in reinventing herself every time she is challenged, so how she bounces back against Giants could be worth watching.

S Meghana has the reputation of being an explosive batter in Indian domestic cricket. So far, opportunities to exhibit that with the Indian team have been rare, because of the presence of an established top order in Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues. That has meant she has mostly been in the reserves. Now is her opportunity to bring that explosive game to the fore and show the selectors what she can potentially offer going forward.

Delhi Capitals: 1 Meg Lanning (capt), 2 Shafali Verma, 3 Jemimah Rodrigues, 4 Marizanne Kapp, 5 Alice Capsey, 6 Jess Jonassen, 7 Taniya Bhatia (wk), 8 Shikha Pandey, 9 Radha Yadav, 10 Tara Norris, 11 Titas Sadhu/Minnu Mani

Gujarat Giants: 1 Sophia Dunkley, 2 S Meghana, 3 Harleen Deol, 4 Ash Gardner, 5 D Hemalatha, 6 Annabel Sutherland, 7 Sneh Rana (capt), 8 Kim Garth, 9 Sushma Verma (wk), 10 Tanuja Kanwar, 11 Mansi Joshi

“You can’t go out there and look at 180 right from the start. You get yourself into a bit of trouble if you do that.”
Meg Lanning on her learning from the Mumbai game

“Sneh Rana has had very good support from her vice-captain, her deputy Ash Gardner – both of them worked together. Sneh has done well because she also has the experience of leading Indian Railways in the domestic season.”
Giants mentor Mithali Raj gives a ringing endorsement of their stand-in captain

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