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Saturday, March 02 2024

WPL Auction: Mandhana Emphasizes RCB’s Bowling Strength for Success

Photo Credit : IANS

Mumbai : The Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024 Player Auction saw Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) strike the right balance with their well-considered purchases. According to captain Smriti Mandhana, the auction was planned only after the first season, and the team was eager to concentrate more on experienced bowlers who had bowled in Indian conditions.

Players with skill with the bat as well as with the ball were also quickly acquired by RCB.

Before adding 2016 Women’s Asia Cup winner S Meghana (Rs 30 lakh) to the team, RCB selected a promising local all-rounder Shubha Satheesh (Rs 10 lakh) from Bengaluru in a player auction on Saturday. Georgia Wareham (Rs 40 lakh) and Sophie Molineux (Rs 30 lakh), two Australian spin all-rounders, were the franchise’s other two foreign recruits, rounding up a formidable 18-man roster.

“Bowling is definitely very important in T20s and a good bowling side wins you competition and this year we were looking to strengthen our spin unit and also look for overseas pacers who can complement Renuka (Singh) well. We have Kate Cross now and I think she will complement Renuka well in the power play with both swinging the other way. And with Molineux and Wareham, the bowling looks very experienced. Plus we have the likes of Shreyanka (Patil) and also (Sophie) Devine and (Ellyse) Perry,” Mandhana said.

With some critical tactical assistance from Mandhana, the skilled backroom staff, which includes head coach Luke Williams, assistant head coach and head of scouting Malolan Rangarajan, planned and strategized the team’s seven bids to fill the open spots and assemble a daring squad for the upcoming season.

“There are no shortcuts to building a team,” stated Rajesh V. Menon, Vice President and Head of RCB, in reference to the auction and player selection process. Every season, you lay the foundation, brick by brick. Our major goal was to apply the many lessons we learned from the previous season to the auction, close any holes, and assemble a team that would provide us exceptional balance and adaptability to perform in any situation.”

“We have of a very good Indian core in Smriti Mandhana, Richa Ghosh, Renuka Singh, Kanika Ahuja, and Shreyanka Patil, who form potentially your top five starters in the playing eleven,” assistant head coach and head of scouting Malolan continued, elaborating on RCB’s approach and strategy behind the auction.

The RCB squad for the 2024 WPL:

Purchases: ₹40 lakh for Georgia Wareham, ₹30 lakh for Kate Cross, ₹60 lakh for Ekta Bisht, ₹10 lakh for Shubha Satheesh, ₹30 lakh for S Meghana, ₹30 lakh for Simran Bahadur, and ₹30 lakh for Sophie Molineux.

Players who were kept on: Renuka Singh, Richa Ghosh, Shreyanka Patil, Sophie Devine, Ellyse Perry, Heather Knight, Indrani Roy, Smriti Mandhana, Asha Shobana, Disha Kasat, and Kanika Ahuja.

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