WPL – MI vs GG – Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians in a power-packed contest to kick things off

WPL - MI vs GG - Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians in a power-packed contest to kick things off

Gujarat Giants vs Mumbai Indians

It’s a battle between two powerhouses – on paper, at least – to start the inaugural WPL off. The big game is set to be played at Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium, which saw packed stands – over 47,000 people – during the India vs Australia bilateral T20Is in December last year. The WPL opener is an evening game, from 7.30pm Indian time, with the opening ceremony starting at 5.30pm. That will feature performances from musicians and movie stars, including Kriti Sanon, Kiara Advani and AP Dhillon. Entry is going to be free for girls and women.

Australia batter Beth Mooney, among the three Australian captains in the tournament, will lead Giants, whereas India captain Harmanpreet Kaur will lead Mumbai.
Harmanpreet had said ahead of the tournament that the WPL could do for Indian players what tournaments like the WBBL and the Hundred have done for Australia and England players. Mooney, meanwhile, said on the eve of the game that captaincy wasn’t even on her radar when she was picked up at the auction – she would be leading a side at this level for the first time.

Harmanpreet loves having allrounders in her side and Mumbai have a plethora of them, such as Nat Sciver-Brunt, Amelia Kerr, Chloe Tryon, Pooja Vastrakar, Hayley Matthews and Heather Graham. They also have Yastika Bhatia and England’s Issy Wong among the other international in their line-up.

Mooney is one of many Australians in the Giants’ squad. Ashleigh Gardner, Player of the Tournament when Australia won the T20 World Cup recently, Kim Garth, Annabel Sutherland and Georgia Wareham are all in the mix. England’s Sophia Dunkley is the only non-Australian overseas player in their side. Among the top Indian names, Giants have Harleen Deol, Sneh Rana, the vice-captain, and S Meghana. Giants were dealt a big blow before the tournament, though, when their star allrounder Deandra Dottin was ruled out because of medical reasons and replaced by Garth.

Gujarat Giants (possible): 1 Beth Mooney (capt), 2 Sophie Dunkley, 3 S Meghana, 4 Harleen Deol, 5 Ashleigh Gardner, 6 Sushma Verma (wk), 7 Sneh Rana, 8 Annabel Sutherland, 9 Mansi Joshi, 10 Tanuja Kanwar/Parunika Sisodia, 11 Monica Patel/Shabnam MD

Mumbai Indians (possible): 1 Yastika Bhatia, 2 Hayley Matthews, 3 Amelia Kerr, 4 Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), 5 Nat Sciver-Brunt, 6 Amanjot Kaur, 7 Pooja Vastrakar, 8 Issy Wong, 9 Jintimani Kalita, 10 Saika Ishaque, 11 Neelam Bisht/Dhara Gujjar

  • Mooney was the Player of the Match in the T20 World Cup final last month and the Player of the Series of the 2020 T20 World Cup.
  • England’s 20-year-old Issy Wong is among the fastest bowlers in the tournament and bowls a deceptive knuckleball as well.
  • “I am not sure there is much more pressure. I shouldn’t be playing if I put pressure on myself to perform. There’s nothing no one else can put on me more than I put on myself.”
    Gujarat Giants captain Beth Mooney brushes aside any price-tag pressure, having been picked up for INR 2 crore

    “I think this is a great platform for all Indian players because we have been missing this tournament for a long time.”
    Mumbai Indians captain Harmanpreet Kaur is clearly hoping for the WPL to have a big impact on Indian cricket

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