Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner and England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt were the second-most expensive players in the 2023 WPL auction, after only India’s Harmanpreet Kaur. That is maybe why the Gujarat Giants (GG) and Mumbai Indians (MI) rushed to sign the promising all-rounders, paying INR 3.2 crore out of their own pockets to do so.
These stars will be looking forward to make a statement with their power-packed 3D performances in order to live up to the high expectations. They are expected to deliver.
Naturally, certain prominent Indian all-rounders also drew the eye of the purchasers and was purchased for enormous sums. Their franchises will now want them to be at their best with their all-around skills during the competition. These athletes’ confidence would skyrocket after landing rich contracts. They will undoubtedly bet on themselves to do well in the competition.
Here are three Indian all-rounders to keep an eye on during the upcoming T20 tournament.
Number 1. Sneh Rana
Sneh Rana has been an all-rounder for the Indian cricket team since 2014. She has put up a few outstanding bowling and fielding performances for the squad over the previous nine years. Her best with the bat, though, has yet to be delivered for the national team. Rana is regarded as a solid all-rounder for Punjab in the home circuit.
With her worldwide statistics and domestic all-around experience, GG paid INR 75 lakh for her services. The name of the all-rounder piqued the interest of MI and UPW, who both hoped to choose her for the tournament. GG eventually won the offer. With her superb off-break bowling, GG expects her to bolster the spin assault.
Since Vaidya can bat as well, the franchise will want her to be a finisher in the lower order. She was a member of the Indian squad in the just ended ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa, but only played one game against Australia in the semi-finals.
Number 2. Shikha Pandey
Shikha Pandey has played a lot of international cricket for India over her nine-year career. The veteran has played in over 100 games for the Indian squad. Her starting price in the WPL auction was INR 40 lakh, but thanks to her incredible all-around talent, she was able to secure a contract with DC for INR 60 lakh.
Her international experience and WT20I results were essential in her gaining the trust of DC and GG. Pandey has played in 62 WT20Is and scored 208 runs with a strike rate of 79.08. Regarding her bowling performance, the 33-year-old has 43 wickets at an economy rate of 6.49.
She finished as the team’s third most successful bowler in the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup, with three scalps in three games at an economy of 6.60. With her present form, her franchise will aim to use her in the first edition of the much-anticipated cricketing tournament.
Number 3. Pooja Vastrakar
Pooja Vastrakar was one of the frontrunners in the WPL Player Auction prior to the auction. Her baseline fee for the tournament was fixed at INR 50 lakh, however owing to her remarkable all-round abilities, MI and DC expressed interest in her. Finally, MI fetched her for a handsome fee of INR 1.9 crore.
Her international records as an all-rounder for the national squad are impressive. Thus far, he has taken 30 wickets in 47 T20Is for an economy of 6.14. She has also scored 261 runs in 30 innings, with a strike rate of 124.28.
Vastrakar failed to appear with both bat and ball in her first T20 World Cup participation. She took only two wickets in four matches as the team’s top bowler, with an economy of 7.21. Yet, after collecting the large price at the auction, the 23-year-old will be motivated to produce with her all-around skill and repay the franchise’s confidence.