Since its launch, the Women’s Premier League (WPL) in India has mirrored the zeal and enthusiasm of its male counterpart, the Indian Premier League (IPL), with nothing short of spectacular. After winning the first-ever title in 2023, all eyes will be on the Mumbai Indians to see if they can continue their winning ways in the next campaign.
The Mumbai Indians are particularly notable for having won the Women’s Premier League’s inaugural season in 2023. This season will definitely serve as a benchmark for them to determine whether they can maintain the momentum from the last campaign, and they intend to go all out in the WPL 2024.
Only four players were released after Mumbai Indians won the final last season: Heather Graham, Dhara Gujjar, Sonam Yadav, and Neelam Bisht. Thirteen players were kept on.
They secured Shabnim Ismail for INR 1.20 crore at the WPL 2024 auction. After buying S Sajana, Amandeep Kaur, Keerthana Balakrishnan, and Fatima Jaffer, they also invested in young people.
WPL 2024 – Second Season of Women’s Premier League
The second season of women’s premier league will begin with a thrilling match between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, followed the next day by a match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and UP Warriorz (UPW). The second half of the season, including the playoffs, is played at Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, with the first 11 matches taking place there.
The start time for each game is 7:30 PM IST. Doubleheaders will not take place. The event’s format hasn’t changed since 2023. The team that tops the table advances directly to the final game, while the teams in second and third place compete in a round of elimination matches to determine who will face the table topper in the WPL final.
In the last season, both MI and DC had 12 points at the end. But because of a lower net run rate of +1.711, Mumbai came in second. They beat the Warriorz in the Eliminator and easily beat the unbeaten Capitals in the final game.
Let’s examine the SWOT of Mumbai Indians Squad for the WPL 2024:
MI have more all-round players than any other team in the league ahead of the WPL 2024. Among their best players are Hayley Matthews, Nat Sciver-Brunt, and Amelia Kerr, who can score runs quickly and take wickets frequently.
Sciver-Brunt proved to be an invaluable part of the Mumbai-based team last season. She scored 332 runs and took 10 wickets. With 215 runs and 16 wickets, Matthews was the most productive bowler for the Mumbai Indians.
Kerr, who took 15 wickets and scored 149 runs, wasn’t far behind either. Issy Wong holds the record for the first player to score a hat-trick in the WPL. Despite not having enough chance to bat, her strike rate of 132.60 showed her superior batting ability.
Despite not having a huge role in the team’s performance the previous season, Pooja Vastrakar is another one of their true all-rounders. Harmanpreet Kaur and Chloe Tryon are not only superb ball strikers but also handy with it.
MI didn’t have a standout fast bowler in the last season. But their all-round players kept that weakness hidden. This time, one of the fastest bowlers in women’s cricket, Shabnim Ismail, a former quick bowler from South Africa, was brought in by the reigning champions.
The Indian side of MI’s pace assault, though, doesn’t appear to be that powerful. Vastrakar is a regular bowler for India, although, during the previous WPL 2023, she was only allowed to bowl four overs.
Although Amanjot Kaur is a capable pacer as well. The captain wouldn’t want to rely on him to deliver big wickets in crucial parts of the game.
MI can easily select all four of the foreign all-rounders from their current group given the players they have. If they do it, though, it makes their bowling attack a little more susceptible. This is where Shabnim’s value to the Mumbai team should be remembered.
With the UP Warriorz, Shabnim was in and out of the team because of the four foreign players per playing eleven that was restricted. Dropping guys in the calibre of Sciver-Brunt, Matthews, and Kerr is difficult in Michigan.
Therefore, it’s possible that Issy Wong, who has also been a brutal force for Harmanpreet Kaur and the company, would suffer the effect if Shabnim is brought in.
Shabnim Ismail is one of the Mumbai Indians’ tools for success when playing in fast-bowling conditions. If pitches don’t support spinners, does she have pacers to fall back on? Vastrakar, Sciver-Brunt, and Wong are all respectable, but are they strong enough to spit fire and terrify opponents?
Even though MI has most of its bases covered. Its current lack of skilled fast bowlers could still be a problem ahead of WPL 2024.