Team Velocity: Complete Squad Analysis for Women’s T20 Challenge 2020

Established as the third team in the last edition of the Women’s T20 Challenge, the Velocity team had a strong showing in their maiden appearance making it to the finals before being trounced by the Supernovas. Led by the Indian veteran, Mithali Raj, the side is packed with experienced players.

Mithali Raj. PC: IPL/Twitter
Mithali Raj. PC: IPL/TwitterMith

Following players make up the Velocity squad:

Mithali Raj (captain)

The team will be led by one of the greats of Indian women’s cricket. Mithali Raj has been in the international set-up for the last 20 years and has represented India in T20I cricket since 2006. Although out of favor with the national side in this format, she has a great record playing 89 T20Is and scoring 2300+ runs. She is an accumulator and is known for playing long innings, having 17 T20I half-centuries under her belt. She also has the ability to bat with the lower order, as she has shown in the past. She scored an unbeaten 40 against the Trailblazer’s side last year to help them advance to the finals last year. Although she has not played T20 cricket since then, she scored a well-compiled half-century against South Africa and another 40 against West Indies in ODI cricket. She will look forward to another appearance in the finals this year.

Veda Krishnamurthy (vice-captain)

Mithali Raj will be assisted by another experienced team-mate, Veda Krishnamurthy. An excellent middle-order batter, she has been with the national side since 2011 and has played in 76 T20Is scoring 875 runs in this format. She also has scored 2 half-centuries. She has recent T20I experience, having played in the Women’s World T20 in Australia earlier this year but was not as successful as she would want to be. She gets an opportunity here to prove that she can still fit in the national side in this format.

 

Shafali Verma 

Shafali Verma was the find of last year’s competition and used the tournament as a platform to break into the national side. She displayed her powerful strokes last year and was selected for the series against South Africa and West Indies later that year. In just her second international appearance, she scored 46 off 33 balls before scoring 2 consecutive half-centuries in the West Indies. She was subsequently selected for the tri-series in Australia and the Women’s World T20. Her raw power got the team to flying starts and unnerved the opposition, which ultimately was enough to get her team to the finals. She is in prime form and will look forward to a similar performance in this tournament.

Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper)

 Sushma Verma made her T20I debut in 2013 and will in the side till 2016 before being replaced by the now-regular Taniya Bhatia. During that period, she has featured in 19 T20Is with no major performance to propel her career. Although she has not played with the Indian team since 2018, in an ODI series against England, she has recently toured Australia last year as a part of the India A side. She has ample talent, as was on display in the last year’s year competition as she scored an impressive 40 not out in the finals as her side just fell short. She will want to have more such innings to get into contention in the national side again.

Ekta Bisht

Indian spinner Ekta Bisht has been with the national side since 2011. However, her appearances have been very sporadic, as she has only played 42 T20Is in these 9 years. She has taken 53 wickets at an average of under 15 runs with a four-for. Although she has not played T20I cricket since the last edition of this competition, she was part of the ODI team during the South African tour of India, where she picked up 7 wickets in 3 games. She earned a call-up for the West Indian tour and played a solitary ODI game where she picked up a wicket. She will have a role to play in this tournament now.

Shikha Pandey

The 31-year old seamer forms a deadly combination with Poonam Yadav in the international set-up. Having played 50 T20Is, she is now a regular in the side. She has picked up 36 wickets in this format with the best figures of 3 wickets for 14 runs, at the Women’s World T20 opener where she, along with Poonam Yadav broke the back of the Australian chase and handed India an important win that had great ramifications in India’s progress in the tournament, where they went on to win all their matches and advancing to the knock-outs. She picked up 2 wickets in the last season and will be looking to adding a lot more to the tally this year.

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Devika Vaidya

The 23-year old Devika Vaidya made her T20I debut in 2014 but has not played in the format since then. She has also played in 9 ODIs and has a half-century to her name. A spinner, she has been quite regular in the India A team. After her stint with the Velocity in the last season, she has been a part of the India Emerging XI picking up a consecutive four-for against the Pakistan and Sri Lankan side in the One-Day format. During that series, she displayed her batting skills with an unbeaten 43. She was also part of the India A team which toured to Australia last year where she took another four-for. She will be an important member of the Velocity side in this competition.

Sushree Dibyadarshini

The 23-year old from Orissa is a talented spin bowler. Although she has not been able to break into the national side yet, she is a regular for the Indian development teams and the India A side. After a solitary game for Velocity in the last season, she was selected for the India Emerging XI team where she picked up 7 wickets in 3 games in the One-Day format. She was selected for the India A side for a T20 tournament also featuring India B, Thailand, and Bangladesh side where she ended up picking 8 wickets from 4 games. With such consistent performances, she will hope to play more games for Velocity this year.

Manali Dakshini 

Hailing from Maharashtra, Manali Dakshini is a young seamer who has done reasonably well in the domestic circuit. She was a part of the India Emerging XI in a One-Day tournament featuring Pakistan and Sri Lanka Emerging teams before representing India A in the One-Day series in Australia and also in the T20 series featuring India B, Thailand, and Bangladesh. Although a bowler, she can also score a few runs with the bat as she has shown so far with India A side. She will be looking forward to her debut in this tournament.

Leigh Kasperek 

The only New Zealand player to feature in this tournament, Leigh Kasperek has emerged as the first-choice spin bowler for New Zealand. Having played 40 T20Is, she has picked up 65 wickets to date at an average of under 14 runs. Her best bowling performance has been against Australia in which she took 4 wickets conceding just 7 runs. She last played in the Women’s World T20 in Australia earlier this year in which she picked up 5 wickets from 4 games including claiming 3 wickets for 23 runs against Bangladesh. She will make her debut in this tournament in which she will be expected to shoulder a lot of bowling responsibilities for her side.

Danielle Wyatt 

This experienced batter from England has been an excellent performer for her side. Especially dangerous in this format, she has got an impeccable record, scoring 1630 runs from 113 T20Is. She has 2 centuries and 7 half-centuries to her name. Ability to strike well and also rotate the strike as per the needs of the game, she will form a very important component of her side. She even has 46 wickets in T20Is including a four-for to show her value as a decent bowler. She has demonstrated her abilities in this competition last year scoring 46 off 35 balls against the Trailblazers to get the victory for her side and another 43 off 33 balls against the Supernovas to keep them in contention for the win. She will be instrumental in deciding her team’s fortunes this year as well.

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Sune Luus 

This experienced South African all-rounder has been an important member of her side in this format. She has represented South Africa in 74 T20Is and has shown her value with both bat and ball. She has scored 730 runs at more than a run-a-ball, which makes her a fine middle-order batter. Capable of building long innings, she has scored 4 half-centuries in T20Is so far. She is also a valuable spinner, picking up 47 wickets conceding under 20 runs per wicket. She has taken a four-for and has also taken two five-wicket hauls, including her best figures of 5 wickets for just 8 runs against Ireland. She recently played in the Women’s World T20 this year and showed her value as an all-rounder in the game against Thailand, scoring an unbeaten 61 before returning to pick up 3 wickets for just 15 runs. This will be her debut appearance in this tournament.

Jahanara Alam

This experienced seamer from Bangladesh has been a core member of her side in international cricket. Playing 71 T20Is, she has picked up 55 wickets at an average of just over 20 runs including a five-for against Ireland in 2018. She last played in the Women’s World T20 in Australia earlier this year. Although she did not perform as per her expectations in the tournament, she picked up 4 wickets for 22 runs in the practice game against Pakistan, which showcased her qualities as a bowler. She also represented Velocity in the last season picking up 2 wickets in the two games that she played.

Mansi Joshi was included in the initial squad but was dropped after she tested positive for COVID-19. Meghna Singh was named as her replacement. Murali Anagha completes the Velocity squad for this tournament.

With the experience of players such as the overseas stars Leigh Kasperek, Danni Wyatt, and Sune Luus and Indian players like Veda Krishnamurthy, Shikha Pandey, and Mithali Raj herself, Velocity has tremendous experience going into this tournament. Much will depend on them and Shafali Verma as the rest of the squad have the talent but have performed well only in patches. They will be tested by the other teams as they look to forge their way to the finals again.

They will begin their campaign on 4th November, taking on the Supernovas in what will be an exciting opener to the tournament. Follow us on Twitter for all the updates.

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