Supernovas and Velocity – the last season’s finalists – will kickstart the proceedings of the Jio Women’s T20 Challenge when they square off at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Supernovas, who have won the last two editions of the tournament, have quite a few exciting players in their ranks. They have the likes of their captain Harmanpreet Kaur and young star Jemimah Rodrigues, who had scored 123 runs and was the Player of the Series in the last edition of the tournament.
The two will have solid support from the likes of Priya Punia and a 20-year-old Ayushi Soni, who bats in the middle-order and can also bowl medium-pace.
Supernovas also have some fine Indian spin-bowling options in their ranks in the form of leg-spinner Poonam Yadav, left-arm spinner Radha Yadav and off-spinner Anuja Patil. The team also includes the former and current Sri Lankan captains Chamari Atapattu and Shashikala Siriwardene respectively.
The pace-bowling attack consists of Pooja Vastrakar and Arundhati Reddy and the two experienced foreign cricketers – Ayabonga Khaka and Shakera Selman – who have over 200 wickets in international cricket between them.
Moving on to Velocity, the side will be led by the seasoned campaigner and India’s WODI team skipper Mithali Raj. Velocity have a healthy mix of youth and experience.
Talking about youth, Shafali Varma, who exploded on the international scene owing to last year’s explosive Women’s T20 Challenge season, will be looking to add firepower at the top. She has the experienced duo of Sushma Verma and Veda Krishnamurthy for the company in the middle-order.
Along with these two, Velocity also has England opener Danielle Wyatt and Shikha Pandey – a fine pace bowler and a very handy batter – in the mix.
The foreign mix in the Velocity camp consists of the Sune Luus – a leg-spinning all-rounder from South Africa, off-spinner Leigh Kasperek, who has 144 wickets in international cricket, and Bangladesh pacer Jahanara Alam.
There is a lot to look forward to in the first game between these two power-packed sides. Expect a fiery contest when they meet in the curtain-raiser of this year’s Jio Women’s T20 Challenge.