Today eyes of the cricket fans all over the globe will be fixed on the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. They all will be witnessing something special as Trailblazers and Supernovas will go head to head in the first of the 3-match Women’s T20 Challenge.
ICC’s Women Cricketer of the Year Smriti Mandhana will be leading Trailblazers against her compatriot and the captain of the T20 side, Harmanpreet Kaur, who will take charge of Supernovas.
Both the teams have players who have been consistently playing for India as well as four overseas players with unquestionable pedigree. It will be interesting to see the team combination and the strategy both captains will adopt. Since every team plays only two matches leading up to the final, getting off to a good start and quickly identifying your team’s strengths and weaknesses will be absolutely crucial.
Harmanpreet Kaur’s Supernovas have experienced Anuja Patil and Poonam Yadav at their disposal along with next superstar on the horizon Jemimah Rodrigues. Kaur will be also aided by world class overseas players such as England’s Natalie Sciver and Sophie Devine of New Zealand. Devine’s compatriot Lea Tahuhu and India’s Mansi Joshi or Arundhati Reddy will lead the pace attack for them.
Supernovas’ youngsters Priya Punia and Radha Yadav will be relishing the opportunity to rub shoulders with these legends of the game. Taniya Bhatia will keep the wickets.
On the other hand Mandhana’s Trailblazers will be eager to avenge their loss on the final delivery last year with the likes of hugely experienced Jhulan Goswami, Gayakwad and Deepti Sharma in the side. Overseas superstars Suzie Bates of New Zealand, Stafanie Taylor and Shakera Selman from the Windies and Sophie Ecclestone of England relish the opportunity to make a solid statement.
Young Harleen Deol along with Bharti Fulmali, Hemalatha, Jasia Akhtar and the wicketkeeper Kalpana will be keen to impress the fans and importantly the selectors to cement their places in the national side.
What to expect: The venue Sawai Mansingh has been home of Rajasthan Royals who ply their trade in Men’s IPL. Out of the 7 matches which were played here in that tournament there has been a run fest in which 5 times the team batted first scored more than 160 runs in 20 overs. Also, 6 out of 7 times the team batted second has chased the score.
Though the above mentioned stats can not be directly applied to today’s match, we can expect Supernovas and Trailblazers preferring to chase the score.
Supernovas: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Anuja Patil, Arundhati Reddy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Mansi Joshi, Poonam Yadav, Priya Punia, Radha Yadav, Taniya Bhatia (wk)
Overseas players: Sophie Devine (New Zealand), Natalie Sciver (England), Chamari Athapaththu (Sri Lanka), Lea Tahuhu (New Zealand)
Coach: WV Raman
Trailblazers: Smriti Mandhana (c), Bharti Fulmali, Dayalan Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Harleen Deol, Jasia Akhtar, Jhulan Goswami, R Kalpana (wk), Rajeshwari Gayakwad
Overseas Players: Suzie Bates (New Zealand), Stafanie Taylor (West Indies), Sophie Ecclestone (England), Shakera Selman (West Indies)
Coach: Biju George
The match will start at 7.30 pm (IST).