The seventh season of Women’s Big Bash League concluded on November 27 with the White Ferns captain, Sophie Divine leading Perth Scorchers to their maiden WBBL title. The league which happened despite the scare of Covid-19, following all the restrictions, went on to be one of the most-watched WBBL seasons with over a month-long display of record-breaking performances and emergence of great future talents. Featuring a total of twenty-two overseas players with two of the eight teams taking two each while the remaining signing three each, the season saw a total of eight Indians being signed after their outstanding performance against Australia in the all-format series ahead of WBBL. Despite the fact that it was the debut WBBL for everyone except Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana, the Indian women performed exceptionally well throughout the season. Let’s look back at their performances
Harmanpreet Kaur in Women’s Big Bash League 2021
India’s T20I captain who has been a key asset for the women in blue with both the bat and the ball once again proved her worth after becoming the first Indian and only the third overseas to win the Player of the Tournament at WBBL. Denying Devine her third consecutive honour, Kaur secured three more votes than Devine and her Scorchers teammate Beth Mooney who finished with 28 votes each. A star all-rounder, Kaur finished the season at the 8th position with the bat scoring a total of 406 runs which included three half-centuries, and the best score of an unbeaten 81 out of which 56 came from boundaries. With the ball, she ranked at 10th with 15 wickets tied with Kim Garth from Ireland and Molly Strano from Australia, her best spell being 3/22. She led the table of both categories for Melbourne Renegades. Despite having an injury-led year, Kaur got a good number of other achievements as well finishing the year on a high note- Hitting the most number of sixes this season, with her strike rate 130.86 being the sixth highest and her average of 58.00, the second-best this season.
Smriti Mandhana in Women’s Big Bash League 2021
While India’s batting powerhouse showed her class as an all-rounder, the opener from the country, Smriti Mandhana did it with the bat. Smashing the first WBBL century by an Indian, Mandhana equalized the highest individual score in the history of WBBL with Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner after an unbeaten 114 off just 64 balls, a knock which saw the 74 runs coming from boundaries- the second-highest this season after the former White Ferns players Rachel Priest who scored 82 of her 107 from boundaries. Finishing as the leading run-scorer for the Sydney Thunder with 377 runs which included a century and a couple of half-centuries, Mandhana was just a place behind Harmanpreet with a strike rate of 130.44, ending the season two places behind her, at 10th in the season’s overall run-scorer tally.
Jemimah Rodrigues in Women’s Big Bash League 2021
Accompanying her national team captain, Jemimah Rodrigues finished the season with 333 runs including two centuries for Melbourne Renegades, standing at second in the table led by Harmanpreet Kaur and four places down to her good friend Mandhana in the run-scorer tally for the season. Her batting average of 27.75 was the third-highest for Renegades and she finished with a strike rate of 116.43 and the highest score of 75 not out.
Deepti Sharma in Women’s Big Bash League 2021
All-rounder Deepti Sharma is the next Indian on the good performer list. Joining her teammate Smriti Mandhana in contributing to the Sydney Thunder, Sharma finished with the highest batting average (35.16) and the third-best economy rate (7.15) for them. Finding a spot at 24th with the bat and 18 with the ball, the all-rounder got 211 runs with the highest of 44 not out this season at the strike rate of 106.56 and the best spell of 3/13 with the ball finishing with 13 wickets.
Shafali Verma in Women’s Big Bash League 2021
The young Indian opener who has created a good reputation in the shortest format, occupying the No. 1 spot among batters for a long time just at the age of 17, played for the defending champions Sydney Sixers this season. Though Sixers had a disappointing season, Verma finished as their fifth-highest run-scorer with 191 runs including two half-centuries and the strike rate of 105.52 taking her to 27th position in the overall batters tally for the season. She, along with her teammate, Australia’s Maitlan Brown, recorded the highest 6th wicket partnership (50 runs) this season.
Richa Ghosh in Women’s Big Bash League 2021
Representing Hobart Hurricanes Richa Ghosh in the next Indian player in the list. She played 14 matches contributing 162, the fifth-highest contribution for the Hurricanes. Ranked at 33 in the run-scorer tally, her strike rate this season was 95.29, the highest score being 96.
Poonam Yadav in Women’s Big Bash League 2021
One of the two bowlers in the eight Indians list, Poonam Yadav finished at the 26th position with 10 wickets in the most wickets category, tied with five more players. Her spell of 3/17 was her personal best in the 13 matches she played. Her 10 wickets and an economy of 6.63 made her the 4th highest wicket-taker and the 3rd best economy rate holder respectively for Brisbane Heat in WBBL|07.
Radha Yadav in Women’s Big Bash League 2021
The last of the eight from India is bowler Radha Yadav. She played alongside her national teammate Shafali Verma, for the defending champions, Sydney Sixers. She got a chance to bowl in 11 innings out of the 12 matches she was included in. Finishing as the second-highest wicket-taker and at the same position with the bowling average for Sixers, Yadav took 9 wickets with the best spell of 2/22 at the average 21.50 and economy 6.81 which was the third-highest for the Sixers. Her ranking among the most wicket-takers this season was 30th.
Batting Analysis of Indian Players
|Matches Played||Innings batted||Runs||Highest Score||100/50||Strike Rate|
|Smriti Mandhana||Sydney Thunder||1||10||13||13||377||114*||1/2||130.44|
|Jemimah Rodrigues||Melbourne Renegades||2||14||13||13||333||75*||0/2||116.43|
|Shafali Verma||Sydney Sixers||5||27||13||11||191||57||0/2||105.52|
|Richa Ghosh||Hobart Hurricanes||5||33||14||14||162||46||0/0||95.29|
All-Round Analysis of Indian Players
|Matches Played||Runs||Wickets||Strike Rate||Economy|
|Harmanpreet Kaur||Melbourne Renegades||1||8||1||10||13||406
|Deepti Sharma||Sydney Thunder||3||24||2||18||13||211||13
Bowling Analysis of Indian Players
|Matches Played||Innings bowled in||Overs||Wickets||Best Spell||Economy|
|Poonam Yadav||Brisbane Heat||4||26||13||13||42.2||10||3/17||6.63|
|Radha Yadav||Sydney Sixers||2||30||12||11||33.1||9||2/22||6.81|
These stats define the applaudable performance of our Indian women in Australia’s domestic league, indicating the strength the team has with which they go into the ICC Women’s World Cup next year, hoping to be crowned as the Champions. Above all, this performance has brought to the forefront the demand for women’s edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) yet again with Harmanpreet talking about it after winning the Player of the tournament as well Does this performance make the BCCI think about having a full-fledged women’s IPL soon?
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