UP Warriorz chose to strengthen their batting line-up at the WPL 2024 auctions in December and will be banking on the young Vrinda Dinesh, on whom they spent Rs 1.3 crore, to deliver the goods at the top of the order. They also bought the experienced English all-rounder Danni Wyatt for Rs 30 lakh. JioCinema and Sports18 WPL experts Reema Malhotra, Saba Karim and Abhinav Mukund analysed their squad in the run-up to the tournament. Excerpts:
Reema Malhotra: Compared to last season, they seem to have strengthened their batting this time. In 2023, Shweta Sehrawat had not managed to do much, Laxmi Yadav had to leave because of injury, Kiran Navgire was inconsistent, so their batting line-up looks better this time. What seems like a slight weak link now is their pace bowling department. They don’t have a genuine medium pacer. So, there may be over-dependency on spinners. They have quality spinners in Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gaikwad.
Saba Karim: I see Vrinda Dinesh making it to the Playing XI. She will open the innings with Alyssa Healy. Last season they tried out Shweta Sehrawat, but her performance wasn’t that good. Vrinda looks to be a technically sound batter and UP are banking heavily on her.
Abhinav Mukund: They spent a lot of money on all-rounders last year and this time they focussed on out-and-out batters. Danni Wyatt is a great pick, Vrinda Dinesh, Poonam Khemnar, Gouher Sultana, all of them coming into this team add value to them. They didn’t have too many Indian batters to fall back on after they released a few players. It was vital for UP Warriorz to pick her (Vrinda Dinesh) up and fit her in at the top. Shweta Sehrawat had been a bit underwhelming and it’s always good to have a good back-up at the top.
Abhinav Mukund on Dinesh: Let’s not put too much pressure on her. It’s an exciting opportunity for her. Last year, there was a lot of pressure on Healy to fire at the top because Sehrawat was slightly slow to begin with. Navgire began batting at No. 3, and there was a lot of pressure on Tahlia McGrath, Deepti Sharma and Sophie Ecclestone who followed.
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