Top 5 players who under-performed in WPL 2024 league round

Excitement is building for the thrilling knockout phases of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), India’s renowned women’s T20 cricket competition, as the group matches draw to a close and as the competition heats up, players are ready to give their all in the quest for the ultimate prize. The competition had new talents emerge, a few familiar names shine, while also a few underperform. Below, we look at five top-bracket players who were standout performers for their teams in the inaugural season but had a challenging campaign this time around.

Ashleigh Gardner
Ashleigh Gardner

Ashleigh Gardner

In the span of a year, Ashleigh Gardner’s performance in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) underwent a notable shift, with the 2024 season marking a departure from her previous successes. In February 2023, Gardner secured a significant deal with the Gujarat Giants, highlighting her status as a top-tier player in the league. Her exceptional performance included accumulating 204 runs and claiming 10 wickets in just 8 games, showcasing her prowess as both a batter and a bowler.

However, the 2024 season painted a contrasting picture. Despite her promising track record, Gardner’s performance dipped significantly. Throughout the season, she managed to score only 120 runs, with her highest score being a mere 40. Her batting average plummeted to 15, a stark contrast to her previous season’s success. Notably, Gardner failed to register a single half-century in the tournament, indicating a struggle to find her form with the bat.

Similarly, her bowling performance in 2024 was lackluster compared to the previous season. While she claimed seven wickets, it paled in comparison to her previous tally of 10. Her best bowling figures of 2/23 were modest, indicating difficulty in replicating her previous impactful performances on the field.

Gardner’s performance in the 2024 WPL season serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of sports and the constant need for improvement and adaptation.

Phoebe Litchfield

Phoebe Litchfield’s journey from being a highly anticipated talent to experiencing underwhelming performance in the 2024 WPL season highlights the complexities and challenges of transitioning from international cricket to domestic leagues, especially for a relatively inexperienced player.

In the lead-up to the 2024 WPL season, much anticipation surrounded Litchfield’s inclusion in the Gujarat Giants, particularly due to her impressive performances in the white ball series against India in late 2023. During this series, she showcased her batting prowess by amassing 260 runs in three one-day internationals, with a remarkable highest score of 119 and an astonishing average of 86.66. Her contributions were not limited to ODIs, as she also proved to be a prolific run-scorer in the T20I series.

However, despite the high expectations set by her international performances, Litchfield’s transition to the WPL did not yield the anticipated results. Throughout the season, she struggled to make a significant impact with the bat, managing to score only 108 runs in 8 games. Her highest score of 35 and a batting average of 13.5 fell far short of her previous achievements, raising concerns about her ability to adapt to the domestic cricket format.

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Litchfield’s underperformance in the 2024 WPL season can be attributed to various factors, including the pressure of expectations, the transition from international to domestic cricket, and her limited experience at the professional level. As a young player with immense potential, her stint in the WPL serves as a learning curve, highlighting the importance of consistency, adaptability, and resilience in the competitive world of cricket.

While her debut season may not have met the lofty expectations set by her international performances, it presents an opportunity for Litchfield to reflect, learn, and grow as a player. With time and experience, she has the potential to overcome these challenges and establish herself as a formidable force in both domestic and international cricket.

Hayley Matthews

In the 2023 edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), Hayley emerged as one of the standout performers, showcasing her versatility as both a top-order batter and a potent wicket-taking bowler. Opening the batting, she played a pivotal role in providing her team with strong starts, amassing a total of 271 runs across 10 matches. Additionally, she proved to be a formidable force with the ball, clinching the prestigious Purple Cap by claiming 16 wickets throughout the tournament.

However, the 2024 edition of the WPL saw a noticeable decline in Hayley’s performance. Despite her significant contributions in the previous season, she struggled to replicate her heroics on the field. In 8 games, she managed to score only 165 runs, with a highest score of 55 and a batting average of 20.62. This marked a considerable drop in her batting output compared to the previous season, indicating a loss of form or perhaps difficulties in adjusting to new challenges or conditions.

Similarly, with the ball in hand, Hayley’s impact was diminished in the 2024 season. While she claimed 5 wickets, her best figures were a modest 1/11, highlighting a decrease in her effectiveness as a wicket-taking bowler compared to her remarkable performance in the previous edition.

The underperformance of Hayley in the 2024 WPL edition could be attributed to various factors such as changes in team dynamics, personal form, or increased competition within the league. Regardless, her dip in performance serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of sports and the challenges that players face in maintaining consistency over time. As a seasoned player, Hayley will likely use this experience as motivation to bounce back stronger and reclaim her status as a key player in future tournaments.

Sophie Devine

Sophie Devine’s contrasting performances in the 2023 and 2024 editions of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) demonstrate the unpredictability and challenges that players often face in sports. In the 2023 season, Devine emerged as one of the standout performers for the RCB side, showcasing her batting prowess by amassing 266 runs in just 8 games. Her highest score of 99, which remains the record for the most runs scored in a single innings in the WPL, highlighted her ability to dominate the opposition. With an impressive average of 33.25, she played a crucial role in driving her team’s success.

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However, in the subsequent 2024 edition of the WPL, Devine failed to replicate her stellar performances from the previous season. Despite her reputation as a prolific run-scorer, she struggled to find her rhythm with the bat, managing only 94 runs in eight innings. Her highest score of 26 paled in comparison to her record-breaking innings in the previous season, and her batting average dropped significantly to 13.42.

Tahlia McGrath

In the 2023 Women’s Premier League (WPL) season, Tahlia McGrath emerged as a star all-rounder for the UP Warriorz, making significant contributions with both bat and ball. With the bat, McGrath displayed exceptional form, scoring 302 runs in just 8 innings, including a highest score of 90. Her batting average of nearly 50.33 showcased her consistency and ability to anchor the innings effectively. McGrath’s performances were instrumental in bolstering the UP Warriorz lineup, as she proved to be a dependable batter who could deliver under pressure.

However, the 2024 WPL season brought a downturn in McGrath’s fortunes. Despite high expectations surrounding her after her stellar performances in the previous season, she struggled to replicate the success. McGrath’s form dipped significantly as she managed to score only 27 runs in 4 games, a stark contrast to her prolific run-scoring in the previous edition. Her struggles with the bat led to her eventual omission from the team, as her poor form became a cause for concern for the UP Warriorz management.

McGrath’s underperformance in the 2024 WPL season could be attributed to various factors, including changes in form, increased pressure, or perhaps even external factors impacting her mindset and confidence. Despite her disappointing outing, McGrath is known for her resilience and ability to bounce back from setbacks. Her past performances attest to her talent and determination, suggesting that she has the capacity to overcome challenges and regain her form.

As McGrath navigates through this period of adversity, she will likely use it as motivation to introspect, identify areas for improvement, and work on rectifying her shortcomings. With her innate talent and tenacity, McGrath has the potential to bounce back stronger and reclaim her status as a key player in future tournaments, showcasing her ability to thrive against all odds.

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